Home air conditioning units make use of refrigerant to add or remove heat from the air. As you can imagine, refrigerant plays a very important role in air conditioners, but when it leaks, it can be quite dangerous. Not only can it negatively affect the environment, it can also sicken those who come into contact with it. Fortunately, you can look out for a few signs to know whether you’re going to need the services of an Edmonton A/C professional soon.

Checking the Air Conditioner

The need to address refrigerant leak immediately

It can be serious if you or someone in your family has a heart problem and there’s a refrigerant leak nearby. Initial exposure to a leak may cause the person to experience cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). For others, high-enough concentrations can cause dizziness, difficulty breathing, and a loss of coordination and concentration. Skin rashes and irritation are also possible, more so for those with sensitive skin. A sudden onset of these conditions can point to a leak.

The different signs of a refrigerant leak

Moving past the health problems, all air conditioners can show various signs of a leak. The most obvious sign is the amount of time it takes to cool the home or the room down. Slow cooling almost always points to a deficiency in refrigerant amounts. Once this sign manifests itself, you’re better off calling companies in Edmonton like Capital Plumbing and Heating, since re-filling refrigerant is a job best left to the pros.

Dark residue spots in different parts of the system are also good telltale signs, though such visual cues are spotted much easier by trained technicians on most occasions. This symptom is much more evident with so-called R-22 systems, where oil is mixed with refrigerant. The mixture then creates a dark, greasy substance that can stain a unit’s surfaces easily should there be a leak.

The presence of frost or ice in the A/C’s evaporator coils is also a harbinger of a leak. Should there be a shortage of refrigerant inside the coils, there’s not enough substance to absorb as much heat as they should, causing condensation to build up and the coils to freeze over. This issue is especially perilous since it can also lead to a total system breakdown if left to its own devices. Ice can also develop on the A/C’s exterior unit (the one located outside the home).

Sources
Symptoms Of A Freon Leak, eHow.com
3 Health Effects of Freon Exposure, DoItYourself.com