There are many tools that help air conditioning units function properly. One of those tools is a substance called Freon. It was created as a replacement for the dangerous coolant that use to accompany old cooling systems, such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.
Freon is a nonflammable, odorless and colorless liquid that has to be produced since it doesn’t occur naturally. It’s composed up of various amounts of chlorine and a host of many other different atoms that include fluorine, carbon and hydrogen.
It’s a chemical that proves to be dangerous because of the potential impacts it ultimately causes to the environment, mostly with being a major factor in depleting the ozone levels. Such impacts have landed it to be banned in the U.S. with it only being manufactured through regulated material use. Before any item is disposed of, the Freon must be removed.
More importantly, the process of handling Freon should only be attempted by licensed technicians who’ve been certified by the EPA. As far as the effects on humans are concerned, Freon isn’t dangerous unless it’s inhaled directly. Generally, a typical Freon leak isn’t enough to be harmful, but the presence can cause irregular heartbeats. This makes people with heart problems more susceptible to the fumes if they’re inhaled.
Some of the common causes of Freon leakage include:
• Physical damage
• Condenser unit vibration
• Stress points
An outdoor unit that’s placed improperly outside can create strong vibrations that can weaken or fracture the lines that contain refrigerant. Physical damage that can cause leaks can be from other objects such as lawnmowers, which can cast rocks and sticks that can certainly cause damage to outside units. Stress points can also lead to Freon leaks which will be located near the units service valves.
Identifying a leak can be quite easy if a homeowner knows what to look for such as:
• The AC unit running at a specific temperature but not blowing any cool air.
• The home is taking too long to cool.
• Accumulated water near the furnace due to condensation.
• The build-up of ice on copper lines from the AC unit to its outside coil.
• An extremely high electric bill is also a very big indicator of a Freon leak. An AC unit with a Freon leak means that the unit has to work much harder to keep things cool, thus raising your electric bill. A Freon leak with only 10% leakage can raise the electric bill usage by double that amount.
Small problems with Freon leaks can be attended to and fixed quite quickly once they’re identified and certified technicians are alerted not too long after they’re discovered. If problems aren’t handled and conditions are allowed to worsen, the repairs will take more time and money to take care of.