Are Home AC Refrigerant Leaks Dangerous?

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AC Tech checking for Freon leak

A refrigerant leak coming from an air conditioning unit might not seem like a common problem. However, it can occur at any time. Unfortunately, this kind of problem can be quite dangerous. That is why it is so important to take care of them right away. If you are concerned about an AC refrigerant leak inside your house, review the information that we have shared below. Our top priority at Phoenix AC & Heating Experts is to assist our customers in the most comprehensive ways that we can. Hopefully, this information can provide you with insight into the way that refrigerants works and why repairing leaks right away is so critical.

AC Tech checking for Freon leak

How Can You Detect Freon Leaks?

Freon is a kind of refrigerant used to cool down the air coming from your air conditioner. Although Freon is not used in HVAC systems any longer that are manufactured now, it is still commonly found in units that were made prior to 2003. If you notice that cold air is not being pushed out by your AC unit the way it did in the past, that might mean that your system has a leak. Other signs that there could be a leak include the following:

  • Warm air is being blown by the AC
  • There is a buildup of ice on the coils
  • You have much higher electric bills
  • The AC needs to run for a longer time in order to cool down your house
  • When your AC is turned on it makes a hissing sound

What Are Some Common Things That Cause Freon Refrigerant Leaks?

Acids inside the HVAC system over time can result in the copper eroding. After that occurs, small holes appear and Freon can escape. Refrigerants also may leak whenever joints over time start to break down from using the unit on a regular basis. Unfortunately, both of those problems are due to normal wear and tear, which you cannot avoid as you are using your AC throughout the year to cool down your house.

How Can AC Refrigerant Leaks Be Avoided?

Phoenix AC & Heating Experts recommends having HVAC maintenance done on a regular basis so that any problems can be pinpointed as early as possible. That is the case no matter how old your AC unit is because preventative maintenance helps to extend your unit’s lifespan. If your unit is older, maintenance is particularly important as regular wear and tear become more of a problem. However, remember that leaks can occur even when you take proper care of your units, especially in units that are more than 10 years old and are used year-round.

Why is R22 Freon Being Phased Out?

Over the years, refrigerant use has changed, particularly as additional research is conducted on the impact that the gas may have on the environment. The largest changes started in 2003, when R22, the most common form of refrigerant, started to be phased out. New air conditioning systems at this point started to be built using alternative refrigerants that have a less serious negative impact on our environment. In 2010, the sale of R22 was prohibited unless used for serving existing equipment.

R22 has been eliminated as of January 2020, although its recycled version can be legally used for servicing air conditioning units that need it still to operate. Only certified HVAC technicians can purchase it and the price can be high due to the minimal supply that is available. That results in most homeowners needing to decide whether they should keep paying for R22 until their old HVAC system finally wears out or to buy a new unit. The best option in most cases is to buy a new unit that uses a refrigerant that is more affordable, better for our environment, and is easy to find.

Why You Should Call Phoenix AC & Heating Experts when your AC System is Leaking Freon?

Because Freon is a very toxic substance, only a certified HVAC technician should handle it. Even in small amounts, it is very poisonous. Handling or inhaling the substance and cause extreme illness or even death. That is why we strongly discourage homeowners from dealing with this issue by themselves. Freon is unsafe for the environment as well, and that increases the danger for anybody who handles it without any experience. You should never touch Freon, when you are wearing the appropriate safety equipment. Always play it safe by immediately contacting a certified HVAC technician.

If you think you might have a leak, give our experienced and certified technicians a call at Phoenix AC & Heating Experts. We are aware of the dangers of Freon, and we can determine whether your unit has a leak or not. Our technicians can provide you with honest advice about what the best solution is, whether that is installing a new unit or adding more Freon. We aim to help our customers find a solution that is affordable to them and that can improve their home’s efficiency as well to reduce their cooling bills.

We have extensive experience assisting customers with Freon leaks. Therefore, you can rest assured that our experts will employ all safety precautions while they are working. With their assistance, you will have cool air inside your house without the risk that Freon will be released into the environment. Contact our office to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions. We will be happy to visit your house for a free estimate or to get advice over the phone. We are part of Maricopa County and want to do our best to ensure that all our customers are well taken care of.