Health Dangers that AC Refrigerant Leaks Can Cause

tech checking for refrigerant leaks on AC

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Is your AC leaking refrigerant? It may be putting your well-being at risk. Aside from a dysfunctional air conditioner, many health problems may arise out of refrigerant leaks. As a volatile chemical compound, this coolant can have severe effects on your physical health if neglecting the proper care of a leaking air conditioner. When ensuring your safety and the functionality of your AC, there are a few things to consider.

What Is A Refrigerant Leak?

A refrigerant leak is an indicator of an internal malfunction with your AC. An air conditioner requires coolant to cycle both cold and hot air and disperse it properly. We can find this coolant within the unit’s copper tubes. Afterward, it cycles through to circulate cold air and expel hot air outdoors.

There are many causes of a refrigerant leak, all of which are best left to professionals to fix. For example, common catalysts of refrigerant leaks include:

  • Corrosion of copper tubes – Over time, the copper tubes that house and distribute the coolant may begin to corrode. Furthermore, the chemical material makeup of refrigerant is a catalyst for corrosion in its transformations from liquid to gaseous states. Older units that utilize older refrigerants are more prone to corrosion.
  • Factory defectsAs with any manufacturer, a product will occasionally leave the factory that wasn’t constructed properly. Factory defects are a common cause of refrigerant leaks.
  • Improper installation – Ensure that your installer(s) are vetted expert technicians. Improper installation of an AC unit can result in air conditioner leaks and many additional problems that could be more costly. 
  • Normal wear and tear – Air conditioners experience wear and tear like any other frequently used appliance. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on the functionality of your unit as it ages.
  • AC vibration – The vibrating of your AC may be a cause or an indicator of a coolant leak in your system. The storage of this coolant is within the unit’s copper tubes.

What Are The Dangers of Refrigerant?

Refrigerant features chemical compounds such as chlorofluorocarbons, chlorine, and fluoride. These chemicals can be harmful to your health and well-being, given their atomic makeup. 

Breathing chlorine or skin/eye contact with chlorine gas may result in a variety of health problems. Fluoride weakens the immune system and causes birth defects, genetic damage, and aggravation of kidney disease. Chlorofluorocarbons are common contributors to the depletion of the ozone layer. 

There are many dangers that can come with having contact with these chemicals. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of how air conditioner leaks may harm your health.

Effects of Refrigerant Exposure On Human Health

Whether in a gaseous or liquid state, exposure to refrigerants could cause many symptoms you may be experiencing. Symptoms may include irregular heartbeat, skin rashes, dizziness, and loss of concentration. Therefore, it’s best to refer to the causes of air conditioner leaks if you’re experiencing any concerning symptoms. The invisible nature of refrigerants makes it virtually impossible to know if you’ve come into contact with coolant gas.

The Dangers of Coolant for Your Pets

Pets have a much higher likelihood of being exposed to refrigerants. Coolant in its gaseous form is nearly four times heavier than air. Therefore it condenses around the household floor where pets most commonly relax and play. This makes their likelihood of coolant inhalation much higher than that of humans. It’s best to consult with a technician if you believe you’re experiencing a refrigerant leak.

Ensure Your Safety — Call the Pros 

We hope that now it is clear what effects can refrigerant leaks have on your health. As well as why it is crucial that professional technicians take care of them. Contact Home Comfort USA today if you have any questions regarding a potential refrigerant leak. Our technicians will be happy to assist you with any of your leaking air conditioner needs!

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