• Joseph Harris

What You Must Know About Your Air Conditioner


Summer is upon us, and with the advent of this new season come temperatures that scorch and sizzle. Even the most heat tolerant individual retreats to the cool comfort of air conditioning from time to time as a welcome break from hot temperatures and sticky humidity.

Air Conditioning: An Essential Part Of Summer Comfort

Having an efficient air conditioner to fall back on in the summer months will make many aspects of summer more enjoyable. One significant component of any air conditioning system is the AC refrigerant responsible for cooling your home. The refrigerant gives your system the power to cool your home, absorbing heat from the environment and then using the hot air to produce cool air.

Knowing a bit about refrigerants and their evolution as air conditioning has improved will allow you to make smarter choices when purchasing and installing an HVAC system. Read on to see what you should know about AC refrigerants.

What kind of refrigerant does my system use?

Most manufacturers are able to display the type of refrigerant your unit uses on a large plate located on the compressor or evaporator. This plat may read “R22”, “R-410A”, Freon, Puron, or a similar combo of letters and numbers depending on the agent being used. Recently, there has been a trend toward eliminating HCFCs, or hydrochlorofluorocarbons, which are destructive to the environment. New chemical compositions called hydrofluorocarbons do not contain chlorine, which is damaging to the ozone.

You must know which type of refrigerant your system uses before attempting to replace it, as refrigerant is not interchangeable. Units that use HFCs must also use synthetic oil in the compressor, while HCFCs use mineral oil. Mixing the two can create a dangerous chemical reaction that will compromise the health and life of your unit. Work with an experienced HVAC technician before attempting to replace refrigerant, or before converting HCFC units to energy efficient HFC air conditioners.

What types of refrigerants are used in new HVAC units?

Recent attempts to go green are causing consumers to gravitate toward new HVAC units that are more energy-efficient and make less of an environmental impact when operated.

R-410-A is an HFC refrigerant that is commonly used in new AC units, replacing the older, less efficient HCFC coolant. It can offer more efficient cooling properties when subjected to higher operating pressure. HFC coolant does not impact the ozone layer, making it a much more attractive option among manufacturers and consumers alike.


Freon 22, known commercially as R22, has been an efficient, non-toxic coolant that remains in use throughout the country, but it is slowly being phased out. Its many benefits cannot overshadow the fact that this coolant causes significant destruction of the ozone layer due to the presence of chlorine in its chemical composition. If you have been using a unit with R22 coolant, you’ll likely have to phase it out when you consider replacing your unit with a newer, more efficient model.

What should I do if my refrigerant type is banned?

Even if a refrigerant is banned, you may still be able to purchase it short-term. You’ll inevitably have to replace your unit at some point, so consider doing some research before choosing a unit that uses a more efficient coolant.

Tropic-Air: We’re here to help!

Even with this detailed information on refrigerants, you’re still likely to have questions about the best type of coolant for your unit and the next steps to take toward repair and replacement. Tropic-Air Conditioning professionals are ready to serve you, providing excellent customer service, quality installation and repair, and top-notch professionalism. Give us a call to discover just how we can keep you cool and comfortable all season long. Visit www.tropicairfl.com for more information.