Every AC unit requires refrigerant in order to effectively pull heat from ambient air and transform it into the crisp cool air we all enjoy.
AC refrigerant is a liquid chemical of varying compositions (depending on the type). There are natural refrigerants, although it is much more common to use synthetic refrigerants in AC units to improve efficiency and performance. These synthetic refrigerants are often made from this chemical solution is highly efficient at absorbing heat, transitioning from liquid to a low-pressure gas and back to a high-pressure liquid. Housed inside copper cooling coils, heat absorbed by the liquid causes it to transform into a state of high pressure, high-temperature gas. Through pressurization and compression, this gas is able to absorb heat that can be expelled/ventilated outside of your home.
To do this, your AC unit’s compressor works to pass hot air over the copper coils housing the liquid refrigerant, converting it into a pressurized gas. When this gas is shuttled to the outside coil, it cools down, causing evaporation and releasing heat to the exterior of your house.
AC refrigerant is highly efficient and long-acting, with levels generally remaining the same unless leaks occur. Keep in mind that this liquid is highly toxic and in the event of a leak, a professional should be called for cleanup and repairs. Similarly, if the AC refrigerant’s level drops below optimal levels, the unit will not perform well and may cause damage to the compressor.