Why Refrigerant Leaks Are Dangerous and Should Be Prevented
Refrigerant leaks in air conditioning units may not seem like an everyday problem but they can happen when you least expect it. Unfortunately, this type of problem can be dangerous, which is why it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible. If you’re worried about an AC refrigerant leak in your own home, take a look at the information we’ve shared below. At Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, it’s our priority to help our customers in the most comprehensive manner possible. We hope this information can give you insight into how refrigerant works and why it’s so important to repair leaks as soon as possible.
How Can You Spot Freon Leaks?
Freon is a type of refrigerant that is used to cool the air that comes out of your air conditioning unit. While it’s no longer used in HVAC systems that are manufactured today, it is commonly found in those that were produced before 2003. If you’ve noticed that your AC unit isn’t pushing cold air out like it used to, this could mean there’s a freon leak in your system. Some other signs that there may be a leak include:
– AC is blowing warm air
– Ice has built up on coils
– The AC must run longer to cool your house down
– Your electric bills are much higher
– AC is making a hissing noise when turned on
Common Causes of Freon Refrigerant Leaks?
Over time, acids inside of an HVAC system can cause the copper to erode. Once this happens, small holes will appear and allow the freon to escape. Refrigerant can also leak when joints begin to break down over time from regular use of the unit. Unfortunately, both of these issues are the result of regular wear and tear, which is unavoidable as you use AC to keep your home cool throughout the year.
How to Prevent AC Refrigerant Leaks?
At Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we recommend having regular HVAC maintenance done so you can pinpoint any problems that are present as soon as possible. This is true no matter how old your unit is, since preventative maintenance can help make your unit last longer. If you have an older unit, maintenance is especially important as wear and tear will become more of an issue. However, keep in mind that leaks can happen even with proper care, particularly in units that are over 10 years old and run throughout the year.
Why R22 Freon is Being Phased Out?
The use of refrigerant has changed over the years, especially as more research is done regarding the impact this gas can have on the environment. The biggest changes began in 2003, when the most common type of refrigerant, R22, began being phased out. At this point, new air conditioning systems were being built with alternative refrigerants, which have less of a negative impact on the environment. Seven years later, in 2010, R22 was prohibited from being sold unless it was used to service existing equipment.
As of January 2020, R22 has been eliminated completely, although the recycled version of it can be lawfully used to service air conditioning units that still need it to run. This can only be purchased by certified HVAC technicians and the price can be steep because of the minimal supply. This leaves most homeowners with the decision of whether they should purchase a new unit or continue to pay for R22 until their HVAC system wears out. In most cases, the best option is to invest in a new unit that uses a more affordable refrigerant that’s easy to find and better for the environment.
Why Call Spartan Plumbing if your AC System is Leaking Freon?
Freon is a toxic substance that should only be handled by a certified HVAC technician. It is highly poisonous, even in small amounts. Inhaling or handling this substance can result in extreme sickness and even death, so we urge homeowners never to deal with this on their own. Freon is also unsafe for the environment, which increases the danger for anyone handling it without experience. Never touch freon, even if you feel you have the proper safety equipment. Always play it safe by contacting a technician immediately.
If you suspect you have a leak, call our certified and experienced technicians at Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We understand the dangers of freon and can determine whether or not your unit has a leak. Our technicians will give you honest advice about the best solution, whether it’s adding more freon or installing a new unit. We strive to help our customers find an affordable solution that will also improve the efficiency of their homes to help lower cooling bills.
We have extensive experience helping our customers with air conditioning repair from freon leaks, so you can take comfort that our experts will use all safety precautions as they work. With their help, you can have cool air in your home without the risk of freon being released into the environment. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our office. We will be glad to visit your home for a free estimate or give you advice over the phone. As a part of the community for over 30 years, we want to do what’s right for our locals.