A variety of refrigerants can be used in an air conditioner, although the most typically used air conditioner refrigerant is either R22 or Freon coolant, depending on the unit’s age. The R410-A coolant, which is used in the most recent versions of air conditioners, is considered to be relatively safe. Whatever the coolant in your air conditioning system, it is a CFC (short for Chlorofluorocarbon). Chemically reactive gases (CFCs) are classified as regulated chemicals, which means that they must be disposed of with care. When it comes to the operation of your air conditioning unit, the fact that it does not use any coolant means that if the coolant level drops and the unit need to be recharged, there has been a leak in the equipment.
A significant number of you would have come across leaking air conditioning equipment, and there are more than reasonable chances that a substantial number of you simply disregarded the leak and continued to use your equipment as before. But such a technique is exceedingly hazardous not only to the air conditioner and its inhabitants, but it is also dangerous to the environment, as it pollutes both indoor and outdoor air, as well as the surrounding environment.
An air-conditioning system leak might be caused by a defective Schrader valve, which is a common cause of such leaks. In the vast majority of cases, the seal around the valve degrades. Another possibility is a hole in the capillary tube or the evaporative coil, which can cause the problem. This hole is the consequence of tubes rubbing against one another, which finally results in forming a gap.
If the coolant from your air conditioner leaks into your home, it will soon evaporate and turn into a gas, which will be hazardous to the people of the house to breathe. It can induce various health concerns, including nausea, headaches, and even asphyxiation under challenging situations. Contact with CFCs can cause dryness, cracking, and irritation when they come into contact with it. Experiencing elevated heart rate, dizziness, and lack of coordination after short periods of CFC inhalation is possible. Still, extended exposure can result in more serious medical disorders such as unconsciousness, shortness of breath, frequent coughing, and even death. When CFCs come into contact with sensitive regions of the body, such as the eyelids, their heat-absorbing properties can result in frostbite, which can be painful.
Damage to your Air Conditioner
A leaking air conditioner may eventually cause health and environmental problems, but the immediate and most noticeable effect is on the air conditioner itself and its surrounding surroundings. Keeping operating your air conditioning unit, although it leaks, puts excessive pressure on the compressor, which can cause irreversible damage to the equipment. Even if the equipment is still repairable, the fix price fix may be prohibitively expensive, and you may come to regret using the air conditioner after you discovered a leaking pipe. Aside from the increased expense of repair, running the equipment with a leak results in a 20 percent rise in electricity consumption for every 10 percent reduction in refrigerant loss throughout the period it is in operation.
Several studies have demonstrated that CFCs do not bond well with soil and are therefore unlikely to be absorbed by it. They are capable of penetrating deep into the earth and polluting subsurface water sources. As a result, when CFCs are combined with groundwater, their hazard is magnified by a factor of several hundred since underground water is eaten by both plants and animals. They have the potential to pollute wells to the point where they are no longer suitable for usage.
In the event of a refrigerant leak, what should you do?
According to industry standards, the use of your air conditioning system should be stopped as soon as you notice a leak in it. The next step is to contact a professional expert who will seal the source of the leakage as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that it is required not only for your health and the health of your equipment but also for the environment’s health. Remember that attempting to repair the leak on your own could result in a more significant hazard than the CFC leak itself could pose to you and your family.
You may exacerbate the situation to the point that the entire unit will need to be replaced, which will almost probably cost significantly more than what a technician will charge you for his services. The sole consolation is that domestic air conditioning units rarely leak such large quantities of CFCs that they are potentially lethal. However, this does not mean that domestic air conditioning leaks should be disregarded. Even though such leaks are rare, if you suspect even the slightest possibility of one, it is advisable to turn off your air conditioner and call a technician as soon as possible.