Air conditioners in Phoenix are filled with a chemical compound called refrigerant. This substance is what allows air conditioners to remove heat from and dehumidify homes. It is a necessity, but it is also a dangerous chemical that, if released, can cause damage to the environment and pose health risks to your family.
Why Refrigerant Is Dangerous
There are many types of refrigerant but most air conditioners use either R-22 or Freon coolant – depending on their age. Newer air conditioners may use R410-A refrigerant, an environmentally safer, but still dangerous alternative.
All of these refrigerant types are chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. These chemicals are controlled substances by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning they must be properly removed and disposed of. Because your air conditioner does not consume any of coolant in operation, it should never need to be refilled unless there is a leak. Such a leak would require immediate air conditioning repair due to the immense damage CFCs can do to the environment.
If refrigerant leaks into your home it will evaporate as a gas and is harmful to inhale, causing a variety of health problems, including nausea, headache and in extreme cases asphyxiation. This is not a common occurrence but if you suspect a leak, you should call a professional immediately to inspect your air conditioner.
Damage to Your Air Conditioner
Beyond the environmental and health issues posed by a refrigerant leak, the biggest problem you will face is damage such leaks can cause to your air conditioner. Low refrigerant levels put undue stress on your compressor and can lead to damage in almost every part of the device.
Not only that but the air conditioner won’t work as efficiently. A 10% loss in refrigerant volume can result in up to a 20% increase in electricity cost to run your air conditioner.
What to Do in the Event of a Refrigerant Leak
If you suspect a refrigerant leak in your air conditioner, take action immediately. Call Cool Touch Air Conditioning & Heating Specialists so we can recapture the escaped gasses and seal the leak fast. It is important not just for your safety but for the wellbeing of the environment.