HomeAir ConditionerDoes Air Conditioning Use Gas? Everything You Need To Know

Does Air Conditioning Use Gas? Everything You Need To Know

Have you ever thought about whether the air condition inside your house uses gas or not? If you have been wondering about that, you are indeed reading the right article today. 

People usually use their air conditions to cool their rooms and make them a pleasant place to be. Your air conditioner uses a gas that is known as a refrigerant. 

These refrigerants, which can be liquid, gas, or fluid, are responsible for absorbing the heat in your room and leaving it outside. Without the refrigerant, you would not have any air condition in the first place.

Not only air conditions but there would not be any refrigerators and freezing technology. Refrigerants are, however, harmful, and they contribute to the effects of global warming as well. 

Let us now get to know the refrigerant gas used in your air conditions machines in your house. 

What Is A Refrigerant?

The refrigerant in your air conditioner is a fluid used to absorb heat contents from the inside of a refrigerator. 

The heat is then thrown out into the atmosphere. The refrigerant changes from being a liquid into a gas and then back to being a liquid. 

The choice of a refrigerant is made based on its thermodynamic, whether it is favorable or not.

Types Of Refrigerants We Have

Below are the various types of refrigerants we have. 

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Chlorofluorocarbons are the most refrigerant that was primarily used in the past. It is also generally known as Freon. 

Freon was the brand’s name for a refrigerant “R-12” made by Dupont. However, Freon production was cut in 1994 since they were one of the reasons for the greenhouse effect and the depletion of the ozone layer. 

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

HCFC was the replacement of CFCs after their production was cut. The HCFCs were made between the 1990s and 2000s. The most common HCFC is “R-22”. 

Although it is slightly better than CFCs because it contains chlorine, it is still harmful to the environment, and this means that it contributes to the greenhouse effects and the ozone layer depletion.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

Refrigerant makers removed chlorine from the refrigerant by creating different refrigerants known as HCFs. And although they are better than the HCFCs, they are still a potential threat to the environment and contribute to global warming. 

However, they do not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. The most HFC used in most air conditions is the “R-410A,” which is better than the R-22 refrigerant for ozone layer depletion and energy efficiency. 

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However, it is still one of the causes of global warming. Some other common forms of widely used HFCs are R-32 and R-124A in air condition systems and refrigerators, respectively.

Hydrocarbons (HC)

This refrigerant is currently the most environmentally friendly refrigerant that one can get on the market. The most common forms of Hydrocarbon refrigerant are the R-290 and the R-600A. 

The R-290 has the chemical name of ‘propane,’ while the R-600A has the chemical name of Iso-Butane. These refrigerants are entirely free of halogen, and they also do not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. 

They also contribute the least to global warming. Hydrocarbons also have high energy efficiency, making them the greenest refrigerant available for use. 

Manufacturers who use them have also stated that their products are safe for the environment since they have taken great care. 

However, it will surprise you to know the air condition systems that use the R-401A refrigerant are much more efficient, producing better air quality and increasing comfort and reliability.

How Your Air Condition Works

The main job of the air conditioners in your home is to move all the heat inside the rooms and deposit the outside in the environment. 

They then blow cold air into the room. In this way, the air condition system cools your house. The cold air is blown into your room over a set of cold pipes known as evaporator coils. 

This is similar to how your body cools when the water evaporates from your skin. Inside the evaporator coil is a unique liquid known as a refrigerant, which we have already discussed above. 

The refrigerant changes from being a liquid into a gas as it absorbs the heat in the room. The refrigerant is then pumped through another coil outside the house. 

The refrigerant then changes back into a liquid after depositing the heat outside the house. The coil that deposits the heat outside the house is the condenser. 

The refrigerant condenses from a gas back into a liquid, similar to a cold window. 

The coil used to move the refrigerant between the two coils is a compressor. 

It also changes the pressure of the refrigerant so that all of it will evaporate or condense into the appropriate coils. 

There is a motor that runs the compressor, and it is the one that provides the energy for carrying out the evaporation and condensation. 

However, the system uses much more energy than the compressor due to the refrigerant changing into a gas and then back into a liquid again.

A ‘TON’ Of Cooling, What Does It Mean?

Before the world got refrigeration air conditioning, the cooling was done through big ice blocks. 

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When people began to use cooling machines, the capacity of those machines was rated by the equivalent amount of ice that melted in a day, and this is where the term ‘Ton’ was derived. 

When we talk about a ton of cooling, it is now defined as 12,000 BTU/ hour of cooling. BTU here stands for ‘British Thermal Unit.’

It is, however, a unit that is not used by the British. It is now a unit of heating or, let us say, cooling when it comes to the current case we are discussing. 

However, you must keep in mind that a window air conditioner does not usually reach 1 ton, while a small central air conditioner typically placed inside the home is about two tons. Larger ones usually are about 5 tons.

If something goes wrong When Using Your Air Condition?

Air conditions are generally designed to carry a specific load and have a certain amount of refrigerant known as the ‘charge.’ They are also designed to have a certain amount of airflow through the coils. 

So in case any of the designs changes or gets tempered, the air condition system will likely develop problems. If you have a lot of people or your place becomes crowded, the air conditioner may not be able to keep up with the exceeded load. 

If the refrigerant charge on the system also leaks out, the system’s capacity would be lowered. This will result in you getting less cooling since the system cannot keep up with the load because it exceeds its designed load. 

Suppose the airflow across the condenser coil gets reduced. In that case, the ability of the air conditioner to reject heat from outdoors will also get reduced, which could result in the system going down, especially if the temperatures outdoors are much higher.

In climates that are dry like the southwest parts of America, this same issue typically happens about the evaporator coil, the indoor coil. 

Securing The Future

If you are using an air condition or fridge made after 2003, then it is possible to use a safer refrigerant such as the R-600A, and if it was made after 2010, you are using a safer refrigerant

As we are all aware now, it is our responsibility to keep the earth in good shape for the coming generations to have a place they would call home. Reducing the warming of the globe (Global warming) and eliminating the depletion of the Ozone layer should be of utmost priority to all people on the face of the earth. 

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To do your part in achieving this objective, you should make sure that all the air condition systems and refrigerators in your home are made after 2010 to ensure that they are using the safest form of refrigerant, which is friendly to the environment. 

Your air condition systems and refrigerators should be using refrigerants like the R-290 or the R-600A.

When people begin to use more and more of these products, their demand will increase, prompting the manufacturers to discard the old refrigerants such as the CFCs, HFCs, and HCFCs which are harmful to the environment and use the safer ones which are now in demand.

This will then benefit the environment and the world in the long run. So, when looking for an air conditioner to buy, look for a model that uses a safer refrigerant like the R-290. 

You should not just be looking for a refrigerant that is energy efficient, and it should be eco-friendly as well. The more people ask for such eco-friendly products, the more the manufacturers will produce them, fading out the more harmful refrigerants in the process. 

As technology keeps advancing and standards keep getting more stringent, we will likely be seeing much better refrigerants shortly.

However, since those refrigerants are not here yet, we should stick to the one that is more friendly to the environment at the moment. 

Conclusion

So now you have got to know if air condition uses gas or not, you have also been educated on the kind of gas used inside air conditions at your homes.

You are also now aware that air conditions contribute to the global warming crisis. 

As a good citizen of the world, the best way to use your air conditioner with the environment in mind would be to purchase an environmentally friendly one to preserve the environment.

You can let us know what you think after finishing this article, and do not forget to leave your comments in the comment section of this article. Make sure to check out more similar articles from this website.

Are you wondering if you should repair your air conditioner yourself? read this article to know what to do, you can also read our updated article covering how to fill your air condition with gas.

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