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The refrigerant is a crucial component in any air conditioning system. It transforms the hot air that the AC absorbs from the house, into the cold air that makes the whole household cool and comfortable.

Once the refrigerant leaks from the AC system, homeowners would surely feel the difference. While not every property owner can pinpoint the problem as a leaking refrigerant, he and the rest of his household could know that there is something wrong with the air conditioner. 

Moreover, there are concerns over human exposure to the refrigerant. Some attribute the concern about the exposure to the negative impression of Freon. R22 Freon is now banned and is a type of refrigerant that is now phased out from the market due to the risk that it poses to the environment. Since the use of the word “refrigerant” is largely interchanged with that of the word “Freon,” some homeowners could not help but worry about the possible adverse effects of getting exposed to this chemical.

If the homeowner suspects a refrigerant leak, it is best to rule out the possibility right away. Call for hvac repair if you think you have a leak. Knowing how to deal with this issue will ensure everyone’s safety.

What causes a refrigerant leak?

Contrary to common misconception, air conditioners do not run out of ac refrigerant due to daily use. This chemical does not get used up nor run out due to the air conditioner cycling or non-stop use. The refrigerant is capable of charging itself, and the only way it will run low is when there is an issue with the system.

Below are some of the possible reasons why the AC will have low levels of refrigerant:

  • There is a possible factory defect in the air conditioning unit.
  • The AC is incorrectly installed.
  • There is metal corrosion within the AC’s mechanism.

To confirm if the refrigerant is running low, watch out for the following signs:

  1. The AC is blowing warm air instead of cold. Touch the vents and try to feel the level of coolness of the air. If the air is warm instead of cold and crisp, then it means that the refrigerant is leaking from the system.
  2. The house is noticeably warmer. If it is generally cool and comfortable at home, the change in cooling levels will be very noticeable. The cooling experience is remarkably less and at the same time, there is more moisture in the air. This is because, without enough levels of refrigerant, the air conditioner cannot absorb humidity and heat inside the house, making it warm and humid.
  3. Utility bills are higher than usual. When the utility bills are higher than the average rate without changes in household consumption, then it is likely that the AC is consuming more energy than it should. This strain is usually attributable to a lower level of refrigerant since the AC works double time to try to produce cool air.
  4. The AC is frozen. Freezing AC usually means that the evaporator coils got frozen. Usually, the evaporator coils absorb all the heat, but if the refrigerant is running low, then it will freeze over.
  5. The AC produces a hissing noise. Air conditioners are meant to function silently in the background. If it starts making weird noises, like a hissing sound, then it signifies that there is a leak within the system. 

The dangers of a leaking refrigerant at home

There are several health risks associated with human exposure to the refrigerant. Refrigerant is a strong chemical and it can induce poisoning upon exposure, hence only certified Air Conditioning technicians can handle a concern like leaking refrigerant.

Below are some of the known health dangers of getting exposed to refrigerants:

  • Coughing
  • Throat irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Eye irritation

There however are instances when households are exposed to refrigerant for an extended period. If this happens in a confined space for a prolonged period, the person can experience the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Vomiting

It is crucial to go to an area with fresh air upon exposure to the refrigerant and seek medical help right away.

What to do if the AC has a refrigerant leak?

To avoid the dangers of a refrigerant leak, homeowners should be alert when it comes to dealing with a refrigerant leak. He should get in touch with a certified air conditioning technician, who can address the issue right away.

It is crucial to know that it is not advisable to just top-off the refrigerant, so if this is the proposed solution of the AC repair person, then most likely he is just cutting corners. It is important to repair the leak from its root, to solve the problem. Make sure to hire a reliable expert air conditioning technician who can accurately diagnose the problem, and perform the needed repairs or upgrades.

Refrigerant leak and AC repair in San Diego

When it comes to refrigerant leaks, call in the experts who can address the problem and keep your family safe from needless chemical exposure. You may be interested to know how much does an ac recharge cost. Get in touch with us at Reliable Standard Heating, Air, & Solar and we will resolve your refrigerant problem for good. We can also help with any of your AC concerns including maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades. Call us up through our hotline or schedule a repair through our online system. Get in touch with us today! 

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