Refrigerant is also known as Freon, but what is it and what does it do?
Freon is a trade names for chemicals that is used as refrigerant in air conditioning or HVAC systems. It's a gas at room temperature and liquid when it is compressed or cooled. It's added to a closed loop system inside the AC system and is continuously recycled. Inside the system is a series of coils that dissipates the heat then cools it before being blown back into the building.
There are several types of refrigerants and they are all classified by chemical makeup, as well as their potential for depleting the ozone layers: R-22 is normally in older units and are classified as CFC (Chloro Fluor Carbon). These are chemicals that can seriously damage the Ozone layer, which we depend on for minimizing UV exposure. R-410A is in newer units which are classified as an HFC (Hydro Fluor Carbon). These chemicals contain hydrocarbons which does little to no harm to the Ozone, but do act as a green house gas.
There are other types of refrigerants available; however, these two are the most common. Traditionally, CFC were used as refrigerants, but they are being phased out because of their Ozone depletion effects. New refrigerants have been developed that are safe for humans and the environment, but their application is still being held.
Dangers of Freon Leak:
Freon is not a carcinogen, mutagen, or will it cause damage to the liver. However. inhaling Freon will cause dizziness as it displaces oxygen and suffocation at high concentrations. It's been shown that Freon will cause irregular heart beats and palpitations in high concentrations.
If you have any questions about the types and classes of refrigerants, uses, and ways of disposal, give us a call. Any HVAC contractor should be able to help you as they are professionals and are licensed to handle refrigerants.