Air conditioning systems are complex refrigeration devices, and the majority of people only know a few of the basics about how they operate. They often know that something called refrigerant is an essential part of how the AC cools down a home. However, there is a common misunderstanding about refrigerant, which is that the air conditioning depletes it as it works to cool down a house. Thus, the above question.
But refrigerant does not work the fuel you put into your car. Fuel is the power source for a combustion engine. What’s the power source for an air conditioner? That’s right: electricity. Refrigerant is something entirely different from an energy source. Unless it experiences leaking along the refrigerant lines, an AC will not run out of refrigerant during its service life</em.
Refrigerant doesn’t supply energy to the air conditioner. What it actually does is transfer thermal energy (heat) from one place to another. Refrigerant is made from a blend of chemicals that can easily transition between liquid and gaseous states. When it passes through the indoor coils of the air conditioner, the refrigerant absorbs heat through a process of evaporation. When it passes through the outdoor coil, the refrigerant releases heat through a process of condensation. Moving repeatedly through this cycle of evaporation and condensation does not cause the refrigerant to dissipate: the refrigerant level (known as the AC’s charge) remains the same.
The only reason for an air conditioner to lose refrigerant is through leaks along the lines or at connection points. If this occurs, professionals must seal the leaks and then recharge the lost refrigerant. An air conditioner running on reduced refrigerant is in serious jeopardy: not only will the AC lose cooling power, but the compressor will eventually suffer catastrophic damage and require an expensive replacement.
If you suspect that your AC has lost refrigerant, call on Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning right away. We offer 24-hour emergency air conditioning repair service in Yucaipa, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and Desert Communities.