Almost every single home in Miami has refrigerant air conditioning. The hot summer days would be unbearable if it wasn’t for the cool and crisp air that makes us all comfortable but like any other electrical unit, an AC can break down at any given moment.


An AC uses a chemical gas, that’s often referred to as freon. If you’re wondering does freon smell, it’s mostly odorless and tasteless so it can be pretty hard to detect. Unfortunately, in some cases, it can cause serious health issues so it’s of the utmost importance to check your AC regularly and do proper maintenance, but also to know what are the first signs to look for. Here are a couple of signs you might have a freon leak. 


The Most Common Signs of a Freon Leak

Knowing the signs of a freon leak in refrigerator or AC can save you money, but more importantly, keep you and your house members healthy.


One of the first signs you need freon leak repair is that your AC won’t be as efficient as it was before. You’ll notice that it takes a significantly longer time to cool a certain space than it used to before. A freon leak is almost the last thing people think of when this happens and they usually adjust the thermostat to a lower temperature to make up for the loss of cooling power.


The second sign is a higher electricity bill. It happens when you turn down the temperature on the thermostat but can happen as well if a higher quantity of refrigerant has already leaked out of your AC.  With less than optimal levels of freon in the system, the AC will struggle to keep the ideal temperature and the motor will go into overdrive to compensate. Not only will your electricity bill get larger, but the AC unit can get damaged as well.


Your AC  isn’t the only thing using freon to keep things cold. Most of the signs we went through are also signs of a freon leak in a refrigerator. The last sign you should look for are frozen copper lines on your AC or refrigerator. This is a clear sign that you’ll need to hire someone or a freon leak repair.

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What Are the Risks of a Freon Leak?

For all those asking is freon toxic, the answer is YES. Cooling appliances use fluorinated hydrocarbons, commonly referred to as freon, and because it’s almost odorless, it’s hard to notice a leak right away. Unfortunately, there are serious health-related risks associated with freon poisoning.


Thankfully, mild freon poisoning is usually harmless, but everyone should know how to recognize symptoms of freon poisoning, especially because many people still ask does freon smell and expect a certain smell if there’s a leak.


The risks of freon poisoning include heavier breathing, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, and coughing when it comes to mild poisoning. Heavier poisoning rarely happens in regular circumstances, except when you’re in a small confined space without ventilation or if you intentionally inhale freon to get “high”. Intentionally inhaling freon is unbelievably risky and can even lead to death if large quantities are inhaled at once.


The most common reason for refrigerant poisoning is not a freon leak but substance abuse. The high is instant and short-lasting so it’s not uncommon for people to intentionally inhale this easily accessible chemical.


A freon leak repair can lower the chance you’ll need to replace your entire AC system or cooling appliance. By having professional maintenance done regularly, certified technicians will check for signs of a freon leak in a refrigerator and your AC system. This way, you’ll minimize the chances of having any kind of trouble with a freon leak.

Preparing Your Air Conditioning System

What to Do if You Notice a Freon Leak?

If you notice one or more signs of a leak of refrigerant in air conditioning, the first thing you should do is to take your kids, family members, and animals outside. As we mentioned above, freon poisoning can be dangerous and cause serious health issues. To avoid any health risks, make sure all the inhabitants are safely out of the house and you should open doors and windows to let the chemicals outside.


You should turn off all cooling appliances which include refrigerators, freezers, and AC so the leakage would be minimal. You can check out these appliances yourself or you can call certified experts who can do it for you and do a quick freon lean repair if possible. The technicians will always give you options when it comes to fixing a freon leak and give you advice on how to prevent the same issues from happening again.


How Often Do Refrigerant Leaks Happen and What’s the Best Solution

Thankfully, refrigerant leaks don’t happen very often if the equipment that uses freon is handled with care, and if it’s installed by certified professionals. Most manufacturers also require certified installers to set up the systems for the warranty to be valid. If you install the AC or any other appliance that uses freon by yourself, you can lose the warranty you’re entitled to.


The biggest problem with refrigerant leaks is that they’re not always visible right away. Even the smallest hole can become a larger leak over time, and cause larger and more expensive problems. If the AC is installed correctly, there should be no leaks whatsoever and you should know that freon shouldn’t be refilled over time. The only reason why some AC guys say you should refill your AC with freon is that we can’t find the leak.


Leaks only occur when the installation wasn’t done properly, if there was physical damage done to the copper tubing or if you got a product with a factory fault. Unfortunately, there are more faulty products now than there were 10 years ago. This is mostly because manufacturers are trying to make more affordable products for markets in the weaker economy. Cheaper parts mean lower quality and lower quality means more faults with the products. It’s as simple as that.


If you notice your AC is running with less efficiency or you noticed a leak, the best thing you could do is to call certified AC repair technicians such as Chills Air Conditioning who can quickly help you and find the source of the leak. Professionals will always give you a few options when it comes to fixing your AC system and they’ll always recommend the best possible solution, no matter if it’s a quick and easy fix or a complete system upgrade.


Have you ever had an experience with refrigerant leaks in your home or office? How did you resolve the issue? We encourage you to share this article with your friend on social media and help them recognize the signs of refrigerant leaks!