Freon is a special pressurized liquid inside the pipes of air conditioners and other popular refrigerant home devices. This liquid is necessary for these appliances to work, but it can be quite the nuisance in case of a leak.
Freon leaks are sometimes abrupt and severe and some other times the leakage happens slowly without giving any immediate signs.
Such leaks usually occur after severe damage to the pipes of the air conditioner unit in question and also after years of usage. Here is everything you need to know about Freon leaks in your home.
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Who’s in Danger?
Freon leaks mostly affect children and pets, because the liquid after leaking out from the pressurized pipe it becomes gas and stays low to the ground (its heavier than the air).
Also, small kids do not have the knowledge to stay away during a leak. Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful to human adults, too.
Generally speaking, the only problems you will notice are dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea. Extended exposure can lead to more serious problems. If you are exposed to Freon, take the time to get checked up by the doctor so that you can rest assured that you don’t have any damage.
Signs of a Freon Leak
If you suspect a Freon leak in your home, look for the warning signs. You may notice that the air-conditioner isn’t working like it used to. Your home may not get as cold as quickly or you might notice significantly higher utility bills.
You may also notice that there is physical damage to the air conditioning unit or ice building up around the pipes.
Sometimes you’ll see a pull of water from the condensation next to the air conditioner.
Freon doesn’t have a strong odor, so you may not smell a leak like other gas leaks. Rather than smell the Freon leak, you might hear the Freon leaking out of the air conditioner.
How to Prevent Freon Leaks
Some Freon leaks, such as after a rough storm, are simply impossible to predict. However, there are certain things that you can do to prevent leaks happening because of aging of the appliance.
First, get regular maintenance done on your air conditioner (or other refrigerant device) so that this doesn’t become a problem. An inspection should be done about once a year. It’s also a good idea to keep your air conditioner as protected as possible from the elements, kids, and pets.
Something as small as your dog urinating on your pipes can eat through them, causing problems.
Keep the air conditioner in a secluded area. If you can put a cover over and around it, even better.
You should also keep an eye on your air conditioner after storms and periodically to check for any problems. Finally, educate yourself as much as possible. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to solve the problem when it happens.
What to Do in Case of a Leak
If you do suspect a Freon leak, the first thing to do is call a professional to schedule an appointment to get the problem fixed.
Many companies offer emergency services if you are worried about the leak affecting you and your family. Next, make sure that everyone stays away from the affected appliance.
If necessary, pack up some clothes and games and go to a hotel for the night while it’s fixed. Talk to the company to determine whether it might be best for you to replace the entire system while you’re at it. It could be best to get everything done at once.
Leaks require a professional repair. A person who doesn’t have the knowledge may hurt themselves or not complete the repair properly. This is even more important for big leaks, but all problems should be handled by a professional.
Freon is a dangerous substance both for humans and for the environment as well. Luckily, Freon leaks don’t happen that often. They mostly happen after extreme damage, but it’s a good idea to continue through regular maintenance just to make sure that nothing happens under your nose.
You don’t need to live in fear of such a problem, but, if it does happen, rest assured that there are professionals available to fix the problem for you.