What is a Refrigerant?

Some say WA is propped up by our iron ore resources, but we disagree: because where would we be without the humble gas, refrigerant?

Never before has Perth seen such demand for refrigerant than during this past summer. Record-smashing heatwaves saw us powering our air conditioners and fridges round the clock in an effort to stay cool.

Facebook community groups were flooded with people desperate to find air conditioner technicians to re-gas their struggling units – and with demand sky high for refrigeration in Perth, it was near impossible to find someone not booked out weeks in advance.

But it got many customers asking: what exactly is refrigerant. And as an expert in commercial air conditioning in Perth, we’re here to provide the answers.


What is refrigerant?


You know that wall of icy-cold air that hits you when you walk into a cinema complex or shopping arcade on a hot day? That’s refrigerated air!

And it’s powered by the refrigerant, a compound typically found in a fluid or gas state and an essential component of any appliance providing refrigeration in Perth.

It’s found in pretty much every appliance that provides instant cooling (and sometimes in those that heat) such as air conditioners, fridges, freezers, and vehicle air conditioners.

Traditionally, fluorocarbons, especially chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), were used as refrigerants, but they are being phased out because of their ozone-depleting effects.

Other common refrigerants used in various applications are ammonia, sulphur dioxide, and non-halogenated hydrocarbons,

As a cooling agent, the refrigerant absorbs heat and leaves delicious cool air behind after it passes through a compressor and evaporator.

One a cripplingly hot summer’s day, there’s nothing like it for offering instant relief.



How does it help your air-conditioner and refrigerator?  


Whether it’s domestic or commercial refrigeration Perth, the principals of how refrigerant works are the same – it cools the inside of refrigerators and produces refreshing, cold air for AC units:

  1. The refrigerant begins as a liquid when it passes through the expansion device in your unit. It expands and cools due to the sudden drop in pressure, causing it to turn into a gas.
  2. As the gaseous refrigerant passes through the copper evaporator coil inside the unit, it absorbs the heat from the products inside.
  3. The unit’s compressor then pulls the refrigerant gas and the absorbed heat away, increasing the pressure of the gas.
  4. The hot, high-pressure refrigerant then passes through the condenser coils. As it does so, it radiates its heat into the atmosphere and cools back into a liquid.
  5. The liquid refrigerant re-enters the expansion device and the process begins again.


Refrigerant is a job for the experts


Because most refrigerants are made up of a chemical mix, there are strict laws and regulations surrounding their use and handling. These chemicals can be dangerous, which means it’s all the more important that the refrigeration systems they’re in are maintained and run perfectly.

Here at Allfield Refrigeration and Mechanical, we’re an established and reputable commercial refrigeration service provider. We help many Perth business, big and small, with the design, construct, maintenance and repair of crucial refrigeration systems. We understand, just as much as you, the importance of fully functional refrigeration systems to fight unnecessary downtime, costs and food wastage.


If you need our expert services for commercial refrigeration Perth, please contact Allfield Refrigeration and Mechanical Services today. You can also view our projects here.  

1800 265 337