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NP Environmental Blog

What Exactly Is Refrigerant?

Heat pumps of all shapes and sizes rely on one key factor in order to produce the comfortable temperatures you know and love. This factor is refrigerant, and it’s essentially the lifeblood of your system.

Without it, your heat pump would just be a glorified and oversized fan, pushing the same temperature of air from one location to another. Refrigerant is the material that can actually extract heat and deposit it in another location.

But how does refrigerant do this? And what exactly is it made of?

This is a great question, and it’s one that can differ depending on your heat pump, the year you’re reading this blog post, and other things. Just make sure that for any of your geothermal in Utica, NY, you work with the experts at NP Environmental!

The Types of Refrigerant

Let’s take a quick history lesson on the types of refrigerants that have existed in the past. Since the invention of the air conditioner, the material Freon (or R-22) was used as a refrigerant, and it was fine. But recent studies have shown that it’s absolutely terrible for the environment, and it was phased out in January of 2020.

Now, most heat pumps rely on the refrigerant Puron (or R-410A) which is substantially less harmful to the environment and works exceptionally well at transferring heat.

What Next?

Is Puron the best and only refrigerant being developed as of now? No, and many manufacturers are starting to explore their own replacements for this material.

One negative factor of Puron is the fact that it has to be kept at very high pressure in order to operate successfully, which increases the likelihood of leaks. This is a negative for the environment, and a clean refrigerant that doesn’t require so much pressure might soon overtake it.

Stay tuned to our blogs to find out when refrigerants get phased out or introduced!

But What Is This Material?

Some people’s eyes might glaze over when they see a name like R-410A, and it’s understandable. This can all sound like very technical mumbo jumbo, but this material is required for your heat pump or geothermal system to keep your home comfortable.

So, what is it? Refrigerants are hydrofluorocarbons that excel at one key thing–absorbing and dispersing heat. As the refrigerant gets pressurized, it evaporates and absorbs heat in its new form, making the air around it cooler. Then, when it’s depressurized, it turns into a liquid as it condenses and makes the air around it warmer. This process is basically how your heat pump can do the magic it does.

A Refrigerant Leak

Now, we hope you understand just how devastating a refrigerant leak can be for your home, your efficiency, and the environment. This material is crucial for the process that your air source or ground source heat pump performs, and it’s unable to keep things comfortable without it.

Also, this material is not good for the environment if it leaks out, and it doesn’t do any good in the atmosphere. If you suspect your heat pump system is leaking refrigerant, call our team as quickly as possible.

Trust NP Environmental for heat pump repairs and maintenance. Contact us today!

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