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Do Air Conditioners Use Gas?

June 11, 2024

While air conditioners don't use gas as a conventional fuel, they rely on liquid chemicals that convert to gas at low temperatures to cool your home. This might lead some to ask: "Does my AC use gas?" Technically, yes, but it's not a substitute for electricity; it's a critical part of the refrigeration cycle that powers your system.

Many myths and misunderstandings exist about how air conditioners operate. In this article, we'll clear up the confusion and give you a deeper understanding of your AC system. We'll cover:

  • Understanding Your AC System
  • The Role of Refrigerants in Air Conditioning
  • Misconceptions: Do Air Conditioners Use Gas?
  • Maintaining Your Air Conditioner
  • When to Call for Repairs

By demystifying how your AC works, you'll be better equipped to maintain it effectively, saving money on cooling costs and extending the lifespan of your unit without costly repairs.

Got questions about your AC system? Let the experts at Jon Wayne Service Company help!

At Jon Wayne Service Company, our NATE-certified HVAC technicians can answer any questions you have about installing air conditioning or AC tune-ups. Our customers consistently give us 5-star reviews on our fast and reliable repairs.

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Understanding Your AC System

Air conditioners run on electricity. Some systems use natural gas as a power source, but only if that system also provides heat since cooling requires electricity.

A better understanding of the role of electricity in running your AC system means you're able to prepare for power outages, surges and other interruptions. Let's take a look at how non-combustible gases help with cooling to explain the AC cycle.

The Role of Refrigerants in Air Conditioning

Your air conditioner doesn't use gas as a fuel source, but does AC use gas for any functions? Refrigerant, a liquid chemical, converts to gas as part of the cooling process. When in the gas state, these chemicals absorb a lot of heat. Then, the heated gas transfers to the condenser, transforming it into a liquid, venting that excess heat, and cooling off to start the cycle again.

The most common refrigerants currently in use are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which replaced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) due to their environmental impact. Today, most air conditioners use R-410A, which is also being phased out. If installing a new air conditioner, opt for one that uses RS-53, R-32 or R-454B. Talk to an HVAC professional about your various options.

Misconceptions: Do Air Conditioners Use Gas?

Since air conditioners do use refrigerants, it's not surprising that there is a perception that these systems use gas. In a way, they do: They use the change in state between liquid and gas to generate the cooling function for your home. However, that's very different from natural gas or propane used as a power source to fuel your unit.

Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

To keep your refrigerant cycling properly and your air conditioner in good repair, it's important to have it professionally maintained every year. Even small refrigerant leaks can have a major impact on performance. You can lose up to 5% efficiency yearly until your unit is serviced. Maintenance is the best way to avoid major repairs and keep your unit in good shape for many years.

If you've noticed your air conditioner running loudly or any vibrations while it's operating, those are signs that you should schedule a professional tune-up. Other indicators include:

  • Higher than average electric bills
  • Low air pressure from the vents
  • High humidity levels
  • Inaccurate thermostat

When to Call for Repairs

You should have a tune-up done every year, but you'll also want to call an HVAC professional if you notice the compressor coils freezing or leaks near your machine. It's important to choose the right company to handle your repairs, so look for one that:

  • Employs experienced technicians
  • Has a good reputation
  • Offers service guarantees
  • Can get to your home quickly

Is your air conditioner acting up? Contact Jon Wayne Service Company today!

With more than 200 trucks on the road, we can be at your home on the same day to handle AC maintenance, repairs, or installation. No matter what service you need, we always back up our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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