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How Does R-22 Work?

How Does R-22 Work Exactly?

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How does R-22 work exactly and how does it end up cooling the air in your home? Let’s find out!

The Low Down On R-22

How does R-22 work exactly? Some people think that R-22 is the stuff that is blown into your home to cool it down. Unfortunately, (and fortunately due to health reasons!) this is not how it works.

Your heating and cooling system is actually a “closed loop system” in that the R-22 in your system should never leak out or need refilled. If you are low on R-22, this means that you have a leak somewhere in your air conditioner and unless it is found and fixed, any new R-22 that you put into it will just leak right back out again. 

With this being said, let’s get into how R-22 actually works with your air conditioner to cool your home.

The R-22 Cycle

R-22 is a gas that is actually converted into a liquid when cooled or compressed. Your air conditioner compressor’s job is to compress the R-22, making it hot. As the R-22 moves through your air conditioner’s coils, it eventually cools down into a liquid form. 

Once converted into a liquid, the R-22 absorbs the heat from the warm air at your evaporator coil, and then pushes the cold air out via your blower motor in your furnace and your duct work.

Your air conditioner actually also works as a big dehumidifier by removing humidity (water) from your air as it runs. During really hot days, you may notice your air conditioner leaking water in your basement due to humidity removal process. 

R22 Phase Out

It should be noted that R-22 is actually being phased out by the Government. By the year 2020, R-22 will not be available for purchase anywhere. The United States is currently running on it’s final supplies as R22 is currently no longer being manufactured as of January 2015.

If you have an old air conditioner that is on its last legs, it is generally advised to replace it rather than put more R-22 in it. With R-22 being phased out, the cost of it has skyrocketed due to the limited supplies available.