Can a Home AC Freon Leak Be Dangerous?

In Arizona, dependence on a solid running AC system is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. Among the leading causes of air conditioning system failure is a home AC Freon leak that not only will impact the overall performance of your cooling system; but can be dangerous for you and your family in the heat of Arizona.

It’s important to understand some of the dangers of having a Freon leak from your cooling system, how to determine if you have a Freon leak and what you can do to get it repaired as quickly as possible.

How to tell if you have a Freon leak

Most of the AC systems in use in Phoenix and surrounding communities are closed-loop units; meaning the Freon continually circulates through the cooling unit and does not leak. However, occasionally this can occur. There are a few things that will help you understand if you are experiencing a Freon leak, including:

  • The temperature inside your home is not as cool as it should be.
  • The humidity inside your home is slightly higher than normal.
  • People living inside the home are experiencing headaches, nausea or skin irritations.

If you experience a combination of these symptoms, it’s quite possible that a coolant leak exists and a phone call to a professional HVAC repair company in Scottsdale would be the best course of action.

Is Refrigerant Dangerous?

There are several refrigerants used in AC systems in Arizona, however, the most commonly used is known as R-22 or Freon – especially in older systems. The newer models use R410-A refrigerant that is an environmentally safer product. If there is any indication of a Freon leak, homeowners should be very proactive about contacting their HVAC repair company.

What are the Dangers of Refrigerant Leaks?

  • Damage to the environment: Refrigerant possesses a potential threat to the environment because it releases chemicals called CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons. This type of chemical compound is monitored by the EPA and must be installed and disposed of in a particular manner to avoid exposure. These chemicals are dangerous to the environment because they deplete the ozone layer and increase the rate of global warming. Also, the chemicals in refrigerant can absorb into the soil and affect both plants and animals.
  • Danger to humans: Besides environmental threats, the chemicals in refrigerant pose a threat to humans. A refrigerant leak that causes humans to be exposed to high levels of chemicals can cause minor issues with the skin such as dryness and irritation. More serious issues can occur after inhalation of the chemicals and can cause significant respiratory system damage including the onset of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Chronic Bronchitis.
  • Damage to your AC: Although not as serious as the potential damage to you and the environment, refrigerant leaks can damage your air conditioning system. Low levels of refrigerant can cause your compressor to work overtime and damage numerous parts of the system, so it’s important to get a leak fixed right away.

How Should I Fix a Home Air Conditioning Freon Leak?

The easiest answer to this question is that no homeowner should attempt to fix an AC Freon leak. Only a certified HVAC repair specialist that has completed EPA training on how to properly handle Freon or AC coolants should attempt to diagnose and repair any leaks. A home AC Freon leak is dangerous and if gone unchecked can cause a lot of health concerns to homeowners. If you notice the health symptoms above, one thing that any homeowner can do quickly is to make sure the home is well ventilated until the HVAC Repair Company in Scottsdale arrives.

Be proactive when it comes to AC Freon leaks inside your home. By doing so, you will save you a lot of money on utility bills and help reduce your chances of coming down with potentially life-threatening respiratory health conditions.


Do you have a Freon leak in your AC unit? Work with Scottsdale’s most experienced and professional HVAC companies, Scottsdale Air Heating & Cooling. Proudly serving the valley since 1947! Call 480-359-7141 today!

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