Refrigerant leaks can occur because of a number of reasons. It could be due to faulty installation, accidental punctures and breaks, factory defects, poor connections or natural breakdowns, called formic acid, around the copper coils which cause cracking. Whatever the reason may be, it’s vital to have a R-22 leak repaired immediately. Health and environmental concerns are the biggest issues.
R-22 is a class of chemicals (chlorofluorocarbons) that is used as a refrigerant in many types of units including auto, industrial refrigerant systems and home air conditioning units.R-22 is a gas at room temperature and a liquid when cold.
This refrigerant will not dissipate or break down in the air conditioner. If there is a leak, it will flow out of the unit and onto the surrounding areas. This is cause for concern.
Safety Risks of Leakage
It’s important to have the air conditioning unit inspected once a year to determine refrigerant levels. Low levels may indicate a leak. Over time, the leaks can get worse and consistent use of a damaged system will create a lot of problems down the road.
R-22 is an asphyxiate type chemical that displaces oxygen. This can be very dangerous – particularly the R22 variety that was used in older air conditioners and refrigerant systems. Be aware of these risks withR-22 leaks:
• The R22 used in older systems, is proven to negatively affect the ozone layer, causing ozone depletion.
• Temporary personal health issues may arise at high concentrations of R-22 exposure including dizziness, heart palpitations or irregular heart beating. At the extreme, high R-22 exposure may cause suffocation.
Look for Signs of R-22 Leakage
If your equipment is leaking R-22, here’s what to look out for:
• The unit is blowing warm air
• Water collects on the floor or ground around the air conditioner
• The equipment turns on and off quickly – also known as rapid cycling
• Oil stains are present
• Frost build-ups or ice collects on the copper lines
• You hear a hissing sound
• Odors become present
If a R-22 leak is suspected, call to make an immediate appointment. The PFO cooling professionals will look over every part, detect leaks and make a determination as to what needs to be done next.
• Sealing treatment – this is relatively inexpensive and a good choice for systems that aren’t too old.
• Replace or fix leaking parts if possible. This is a great option for newer units that are still under warranty.
• If the air conditioning unit is too old or dangerous to repair, the system will need to be completely replaced with a new one.
Importance of Annual Inspections
Find out more answers to common questions on our FAQ page. There may be many options available when a leak is detected, but the most important thing is to not ignore any warning signs of R-22 leakage. The best way to ensure the system is safe and in good running order is to have annual inspections. For questions regarding your air conditioning unit and any R-22 issues, please contact us at www.PrincetonFuel.com or 1-800-253-9001.