What is refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a chemical cooling agent used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems to transfer heat from one area to another. During your air conditioner or heat pump’s heat exchange cycle, refrigerant changes from liquid to gas and back again.

This allows the refrigerant to absorb heat energy and transfer it away from the air-conditioned space, cooling the area. Refrigerants can be divided into three main categories: CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons). HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), and Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs)

How does refrigerant work?

In an HVAC system, refrigerant is found inside the copper coils and runs through several components such as the condenser, compressor, evaporator, and expansion valve. During the cooling cycle, the refrigerant absorbs heat energy from inside your home and then transfers it outside through a condenser coil

It then passes through the compressor, where it is heated and compressed into a vapor before passing through an evaporator, which cools the refrigerant down again. Finally, it moves through an expansion valve to reduce its pressure before being sent back into the refrigerated space to start the cycle over again.

Which refrigerants are being phased out?

Production and importation to the U.S. of CFCs like R-22 have been phased out and are now banned due to their ozone-depleting effects. Similarly, new regulations call for the phasing out of HFCs such as R-410A because of their high global warming potential (GWP).

The newest refrigerants are HFOs. These refrigerants were developed due to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phase-out of higher GWP refrigerants. HFOs have a lower GWP and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) compared to HFCs or HCFCs.

As part of our commitment to excellence and to comply with new regulations, American Standard is transitioning to using a new refrigerant for our residential products called R-454B. R-454B is a blend of R-32, an HFC, and R-1234yf, an HFO. We’ll be using a phased-in approach, starting with introducing new heat pumps which will use R-454B. Learn more about why American Standard is changing refrigerants.

Questions about your HVAC system? Contact your local American Standard dealer for expert repairs, maintenance, and product recommendations.

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