Your home's air conditioning system works really hard to keep you comfortable inside your home, but if you are like a lot of homeowners, you do not know a lot about what makes this process occur. One of the components that make your air conditioner function is the coolant that it relies on. Coolant, which is also sometimes referred to as refrigerant, has the ability to drastically drop temperatures of air as it slips over coils that contain the coolant. Take a look at some of the things you probably want to know about coolant in your home's air conditioner system.
What type of coolant is used in your central air conditioning system?
Freon is the most common type of coolant used in home air conditioning systems. You will probably see freon listed as something referred to as R-22, which stands for Refrigerant Gas 22. Some of the most modern cooling systems, however, no longer rely on freon to function. The newest form of refrigerant, HFC or R-410A, is a more environmentally-friendly form of coolant that does not contain chlorine gas. A lot of the older systems that rely on freon to cool your home are being phased out and replaced.
Is air conditioning coolant dangerous to your health?
If you find out that your air conditioner has a coolant leak, it can be a little alarming. However, coolant is not really all that much of a concern or a threat to your health, even though it is a problem that you should have fixed right away. For the most part, being exposed to small amounts of freon or HFC will not cause you much harm and you will likely never notice you have a leak if your AC is functioning properly. Neither freon or HFC are classified as a carcinogen and both quickly dissipate into the atmosphere.
Are there air conditioners that do not rely on coolant?
Pretty much any home air system you find is going to rely on some kind of coolant to function properly. It is a common misconception that heat pumps with an AC do not rely on coolant, but they actually do; it is just that they utilize the coolant in a different way than the average system. For example, the heat pump AC cycles the coolant through internal and external parts while also pulling hot air out of the house and releasing it, so the reliance on coolant is not as great but still there.