Freon Health Risks: What You Should Know

Posted on: July 31, 2019

Refrigerators and air conditioners can be found in almost every household in the United States. While these appliances don’t seem dangerous and usually aren’t, you should be aware of the health concerns a Freon leak in your home can cause. 

Freon leaks are possibly the main reason why regular AC servicing is so important. By having your unit serviced regularly, you’ll be able to prevent a vast majority of common AC issues. In addition to high-quality maintenance and servicing, you can also rely on Action AC if you need dependable AC installation in Temecula. 

Read on to find out more about the health concerns of Freon leaks. 

Can a Freon leak cause health problems?

Freon is not a chemical – it’s actually a trade name which is used for a number of different refrigerating substances, mostly known as chlorofluorocarbons. Exposure to these chemicals may differ depending on the exact type, but the health risks associated with Freon leaks share a number of general characteristics which will be discussed in this article. 

Most chlorofluorocarbons are colorless, non-flammable gases or liquids which contain fluorine, chlorine, carbon, and hydrogen. Exposure to these chemicals can be harmful to human health by causing symptoms such as: 

  • Dizziness 
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Concentration problems

Luckily, Freon is not known to be carcinogenic or mutagenic and doesn’t have long term effects on health. Even so, you should seek medical help if you suspect a Freon leak in your home or workplace, especially if you have a history of heart issues. 

Can leaking Freon make you sick?

The effects of inhaling Freon depend on the nature and length of exposure. If you inhale refrigerant accidentally in case of an appliance leak, you’re likely to experience the following symptoms: 

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Chemical burns
  • Frostbite (if exposed to liquid Freon)
  • Coughing
  • Eye, throat and ear irritation 

Intentional exposure or inhaling Freon in an enclosed space can lead to severe Freon poisoning, indicated by the following symptoms:

  • Fluid build-up in the lungs
  • Bleeding in the lungs
  • Seizures
  • Fainting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting blood
  • Coma

How do I know if my AC needs Freon?

Ideally, your AC should never be low on Freon. You’ll only need a refrigerant recharge if you’re dealing with a leak somewhere in your home. If that’s the case, seeking professional help is always the best solution. But how do you know you have a Freon leak? 

Warm air coming out of the unit

If your AC is low on refrigerant, it won’t be able to absorb heat from your home properly and will blow lukewarm or warm air as a result. Keep in mind that this problem can also be caused by other issues, such as compressor issues or a dirty or clogged outside unit, so it’s best that you hire expert technicians to determine the issue with certainty.    

Higher than normal energy bills

A lack of refrigerant will make it difficult for your unit to cool down your home efficiently. If your AC has to work harder to cool the air, it will use up more energy and lead to huge utility bills. Of course, other AC problems could be the reason why your energy bill is higher, so you shouldn’t jump to conclusions unless you notice more than one of the listed Freon leak symptoms. 

Ice on the refrigerant lines

If the refrigerant lines on your outside unit have ice on them, it’s very likely that your AC is low on Freon. A low Freon charge will cause the inside unit to freeze up, leading up to ice forming along the refrigerant lines all the way to the outside unit. 

Bubbling or hissing sounds

Hearing strange sounds coming from your unit is never a good sign. If you notice a hissing or bubbling noise, you might be dealing with a larger refrigerant leak and should reach out to HVAC professionals as soon as possible. 

Superior AC Installation Temecula residents count on

Considering the effects of Freon leaks on your health, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. If you so much as suspect that your AC unit is low on Freon, you’d be wise to reach out to experienced HVAC technicians immediately and avoid risking the health of your family and pets. 

The seasoned experts at Action AC will be more than glad to help you out with any AC issues you might be dealing with and provide you with all the AC-related information you may need, from how to reduce your energy bill to the best ways to use your AC in the summer. 

Once our dependable technicians make sure your AC works as good as new, you’ll be able to visit Lake Skinner with your family without worrying about dangerous Freon leaks. Contact us today and get your peace of mind!