The handling of refrigerant should always be left up to a professional AC technician, and for good reason. While refrigerant, the chemical used to cool the air in your home, is perfectly safe to use inside your air conditioner, direct exposure or a leak can be harmful in a number of ways. Learn more about the potential dangers of refrigerant and discover how to minimize risks of harm to your health, the environment and your air conditioner.
Health Risks of Refrigerant Leaks
Exposure to refrigerant can cause refrigerant poisoning. Something as mild as breathing near an open container or a small spill on your hand is generally harmless, however minor symptoms such as dizziness, headache, coughing and eye, nose and throat irritation may occur. When refrigerant is deeply inhaled, it can cut of oxygen to your lungs and cells. Direct exposure within a confined space, or abuse of the substance as a drug, can cause vomiting, chemical burn, heart palpitation, difficulty breathing and even loss of consciousness. If you or someone you know appears to have refrigerant poisoning, get some fresh air immediately and seek emergency medical attention. To avoid problems in the first place, always leave the handling of refrigerant to a professional and don’t wait to have the leaks fixed!
Environmental Risks of Refrigerant Leaks
Most air conditioners use a chemical called Freon as a refrigerant. Freon is a stable, nonflammable, moderately toxic gas that is tasteless and mostly odorless. Freon contains chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are known to deplete the ozone. For this reason, refrigerant leaks are considered environmentally hazardous. In cooling your home, your air conditioner does not actually consume any Freon, it simply cycles it through. So if your Freon levels are ever low, it’s likely because of a leak. Call an AC professional for a repair!
How Refrigerant Leaks Can Harm Your Air Conditioner
While the health issues and environmental damage caused by a refrigerant leak may not be apparent, the damage done to your air conditioner will be. Low refrigerant levels put extra stress on your compressor, which can cause extensive damage to the part. Not only might repairs be costly, but you’ll likely see your energy bill go up as well. A 10 percent loss in refrigerant can result in a 20 percent increase in the electricity your air conditioner uses!
Refrigerant Leak? Call a Professional ASAP!
Posing a threat to your family’s health, the Earth and the efficiency of your air conditioner, refrigerant leaks are no joke. If you suspect a leak, contact Climate Design immediately. Our team of experienced AC technicians will have the leak fixed and your refrigerant levels restored in no time. Call today!