The Role of Refrigerants in Your AC System

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Air conditioning has become essential to our daily life, enabling us to work, relax, and sleep without feeling too hot or sweaty. Have you ever wondered what makes your air conditioning system work? One of the most critical components of your AC unit is the refrigerant and sometimes is pretty common to ignore some of the signs when it is malfunctioning. Let’s look at the role of refrigerants in the AC system.

What is a Refrigerant?

Refrigerants are utilized in various cooling devices, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and walk-in freezers, to regulate temperatures. Refrigerants are employed because of their exceptional characteristics, allowing them to absorb heat from an area and replace it with cooler temperatures. Air conditioners function because of the fundamental process that enables them to function.

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The Role of Refrigerants in AC Systems

The refrigerant is compressed in the compressor. It absorbs heat from the surroundings and transforms into a liquid. The liquid travels to the condenser outside, assisted by the blower motor to expel the accumulated heat. The refrigerant returns to the evaporator and becomes a gas. This cycle results in a reduction in temperature, cooling coils, and a fan blows air over them to generate cool air.

It may seem counterintuitive to use high temperatures to cool the air. However, the heat flows from hot to cold, and the compressor eliminates the unwanted heat. Converting the refrigerant from liquid to gas and back to liquid maintains a cool indoor temperature.

Common Signs Of Refrigerant Problems in Your A/C System and How to Fix Them
  •  Strange Noises: It could indicate a refrigerant leak if you hear hissing, bubbling, or other unpleasant sounds from the walls, vents, or the A/C unit.
  •  Frozen Spots: A thin sheet of ice or frost forms on the evaporator coil.
  •  Uneven Cooling: If you experience warm spots in areas of your home that used to be cool while the A/C was running, it could be due to insufficient refrigerant levels.
  •  Poor Cooling: If you find your A/C system is not cooling your home effectively, or you constantly need to set it to cooler or more powerful settings, it could mean that your refrigerant levels are low.


Calling a professional to diagnose and repair the issue is important in any of these cases. Refrigerant should never run low or leak from an A/C system, and systems are designed to use the refrigerant provided for the entirety of their service life. Mixing different types of refrigerant can also cause damage. Calling a professional to diagnose and repair the issue is important in any of these cases. If a technician determines that a significant amount of refrigerant has been lost due to a leak, a replacement is necessary, which includes repairing the leak and entirely replacing the refrigerant compound. Simply topping off the refrigerant is not a solution.

Call On The Professionals

AC systems that are low on refrigerant due to leaks can cause the compressor to work harder and longer, resulting in higher energy consumption and utility bills. Additionally, refrigerant leaks release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, contributing to ozone depletion and global warming. 

Contact Shipton’s Heating & Cooling Ltd if you have concerns about your refrigerant levels. We can test your system and make the necessary repairs.

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