If your home or business is cool and comfortable, you can partially thank the refrigerant. Refrigerant, sometimes referred to as Freon, is a liquid cooling agent that is located within the coil of an AC system. It functions to chill air and dehumidify it.
Although uncommon, refrigerant leaks can occur within your air conditioning system. Because refrigerant leaks can be potentially dangerous, it’s important to understand what they are and what to do in case of a leak.
What are the Dangers of Refrigerant Leaks?
- Damage to the environment: Refrigerant possesses a potential threat to the environment because it releases chemicals called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (phew!). These chemicals are dangerous to the environment because they deplete the ozone layer and increase the rate of global warming. In addition, the chemicals in refrigerant can absorb into the soil and affect both plants and animals.
- Danger to humans: Besides environmental threats, the chemicals in refrigerant pose a threat to humans in both high and low levels of exposure. A refrigerant leak that causes humans to be exposed to high levels of chemicals can cause minor issues with the skin such as dryness and irritation. More serious issues can occur after inhalation of the chemicals and cause shortness of breath, asphyxiation, and even death.
- Damage to your AC: Although not as serious as potential damage to you and the environment, refrigerant leaks can damage your air conditioning system, costing you big bucks. Low levels of refrigerant can cause your compressor to work overtime and can damage numerous parts of the system, so it’s imperative to get a leak fixed right away.
What to Do If You Have a Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant leaks can be serious if not taken care of right away. If you find that you have a refrigerant leak, immediately call an experienced technician to diagnose and fix the issue. Make sure you open all of the windows in your home and take any children or pets outside until the issue is fixed.
Refrigerant leaks rarely result in fatalities, but nonetheless, should be taken seriously. If you suspect you have a refrigerant leak, call your local HVAC professionals immediately. The experienced technicians have the skills to remove the gasses and seal the leak quickly.