Air Conditioning and Refrigerants. Super Cool and Very Dangerous.
What Is Refrigerant?
Contained within the coils of an air conditioning unit, these liquid agents cool and dehumidify indoor air. For years, the most common refrigerant used in air conditioning systems was R-22. In response to growing environmental concerns, production of systems using R-22 refrigerant is being phased out.
Refrigerant is the cooling agent used in air conditioning systems. Refrigerant cools the air coming out of your AC system. It travels through special tubing inside and outside of your home, collecting and dispersing heat.
Refrigerant is important to the performance of your air conditioner, however, if you believe you have a refrigerant problem, it’s a matter you do not want to take into your own hands.
If you feel your AC’s refrigerant lines may need recharging, call a professional before each warm season. Have a professional inspect your AC system before you do any heavy cooling in your home for the hot summer months.
Checking the insulation around your refrigerant lines to see if they are worn is a simple thing you can do. If it looks worn, all you have to do is replace that insulation. You don’t have to replace the refrigerant lines. Just make sure to buy the exact same kind of insulation that originally covered the refrigerant lines.
When doing any work on your air conditioner, make sure you’ve turned off both the condenser and the evaporator. Remember that HVAC Contractors are available, professionally trained, and have the tools to properly diagnose and repair Air Conditioning Units.
With summer approaching us quickly, it is a very busy time for Air conditioning companies and you need to take care and follow all of the safety guidelines in order to avoid injury to yourself, your home, and also the environment. Refrigerants have specific boiling points. These higher boiling points can cause respiratory and skin irritation. If not handled with proper care, damage to the environment can occur. By chemical reactions, refrigerant can destroy the ozone present in the stratosphere.
Remember back to science class and learning about the ozone and the different layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. These layers are designed to protect the Earth’s surface from harmful radiation. Depletion of the ozone could create a threat to animal life on the earth because the ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiation that can induce skin cancer.
The most serious side effect of refrigerant exposure would occur at the time of initial exposure. People who have a history of heart problems should be very concerned of refrigerant because it can cause cardiac arrhythmia, and palpitations when inhaled at very high concentrations. Also, topical exposure to refrigerants can cause severe chemical burns.
If you believe that you are running low on refrigerant, contact a professional to take a look at your AC system to see what is going on, there can possibly be a leak, and proper action should be taken. Open up windows and doors and use fans to help move the air out of the area. Remove yourself and your pets to an area of fresh air, and if you feel any unusual health effects, seek medical care. If you have chronic heart conditions, consider having your refrigerant checked regularly for leaks.
When contacting a professional, make sure the company ensures that personnel who handle refrigerants are properly trained in their safe use and handling. Also make sure that your HVAC technician is EPA certified to handle refrigerant.
For more information about refrigerants and the Environmental Protection Agency please click here.