Freon (or refrigerant) is a chemical substance used for a variety of production purposes: in refrigeration, in perfumery and medicine, in gas cartridges, etc.
We consider freon as a refill to an air conditioner. It is a colorless and odorless gas or liquid that is completely fireproof – it does not ignite even when it comes into contact with fire.
Properties of Freon
Freon has the ability to absorb (during evaporation) and to release (during condensation) heat in the environment. These processes underlie the operation of the air conditioner. When the air conditioner is turned on, freon evaporates, it begins to absorb heat from the room, thereby cooling it. Further freon goes into the condenser, and the heat released during the condensation that goes out into the street.
Types of Refrigerants
Before you buy freon, you need to decide on the type. In general, there are about 40 types of freons. But the most important, which are used in air conditioning systems – R410A, R22 and R407C
R22 is a fairly common freon, which is most often used when it is necessary to cool to the lowest possible temperatures industrial refrigeration units. Its main advantage is relative cheapness, problem – when it reaches a temperature of 250 degrees it turns into a poisonous substance that harms the Earth’s atmosphere. That is why in Europe and the United States Freon 22 has long been replaced by safer ones.
R407C is a more modern and completely safe refrigerant that is used for medium-temperature refrigeration equipment. It consists of a mixture of three freons, each of which is responsible for something: R134A (52%) – determines the working pressure in the refrigerant circuit, R125 (25%) – prevents ignition and R32 (23%) – increases productivity.
R410A – one of the most common freons for air conditioning systems. It also consists of a mixture of other refrigerants: R32 (50%) and R125 (50%). Freon 410 creates twice as much pressure as the first type. Accordingly, for its use, you need strong and powerful pipes, a compressor, a heat exchanger, filters, etc. elements. Naturally, such a system will be more expensive. The previous type of freon is superior because it can be refilled, while the R407C can only be newly filled. The main advantage of this Freon is the price, it’s the cheapest refrigerant on the market.
R32 – one-component freon, which is planned to replace multicomponent refrigerants, in the composition of which it was used. Due to the lower density and viscosity of the refrigerant, it is more efficient than R-410A. In addition, it increases the cooling capacity of the air-conditioning system by 4% and reduces the energy consumption by 10%. Also, it is an environmentally safer substance. Leading company for the production of air conditioning systems Daikin rightly assessed this freon as the best, deciding to transfer its premium-class climate systems to it.
Thus, R22 freon is not recommended because of the negative effect on the ozone layers of the Earth. Moreover, new split systems using it are no longer being manufactured, but they are bought only to refuel old equipment. While the R410 occupies a dominant position, replacing the obsolete R22 and not so practical in terms of maintenance R407. In addition, the price of freon R22 relative to R410A is not that much less, in order to continue to use outdated equipment.
Filling with freon – an essential element of maintenance of air conditioners
During the operation of the split system, a natural leak of freon occurs. It is connected with the fact that the connections of the pipeline, which unites the air conditioning units, are made by expanding. The normal annual loss of refrigerant is about 7%. At first, this does not pose any particular problems, but with time, Freon remains too small, and it can no longer provide the required level of cooling of the compressor. Then the climatic equipment stops coping well with work in different modes, the compressor overheats, and then it jams.
Often, the device completely fails, and in this case, the repair of air conditioners will cost a round sum: because the compressor – a very expensive mechanism, it will have to give almost half the cost of the whole air conditioner.
This situation is easily avoided if you follow all the recommendations of specialists. In particular, maintenance of air conditioners should include refueling every half to two years.