Can Your Air Conditioner Ever Be Toxic to You?

January 16, 2020 1:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You might have heard about Freon or refrigerant poisoning, which happens when cooling agents for refrigerators or air conditioners are inhaled. While rare, it most often happens to people who work with refrigerants on a daily basis, or those who inhale refrigerants as a recreational drug. Freon poisoning is still a serious concern in Fair Oaks, CA, so taking proper precautions around the chemical is advised. Read on to learn more about the dangers of Freon poisoning and how to reduce your risk.

What is Freon poisoning?

Freon poisoning occurs when a person inhales too much Freon (a brand name for fluorinated hydrocarbons) which is an odorless and tasteless gas. Refrigerants, such as those found in HVAC units and other cooling appliances, cut off oxygen supply. When inhaled in large amounts, this can lead to severe consequences, including death.

Symptoms of Freon poisoning include headache, frostbite, dizziness, vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizure and even coma. If you notice any of these signs, seek medical attention immediately. Doctors may perform a variety of treatments, including administering medication and oxygen, removal of burned skin and more.

Can your AC make you sick in Fair Oaks, CA?

Here’s the good news: even if your AC unit is leaking Freon or other refrigerants, you’re not likely to get sick. As long as your home is well ventilated, you will likely not notice any adverse effects—however, it’s very important that you get your refrigerants checked immediately whenever you notice signs of a leak.

Those who are most likely to suffer from Freon poisoning are those who actively seek it out as a recreational drug. Users often soak a rag in Freon and press it to their nose or mouth to inhale the chemical. This highly concentrated dose is incredibly dangerous and can lead to the more severe symptoms noted above. Users will take multiple breaths to attempt to draw out their high, which is when the most serious side effects begin to happen.

The other main group of people affected by Freon poisoning are those who work with refrigerants on a daily basis, such as HVAC contractors. This is almost always accidental exposure, and while dangerous, it will not likely be deadly unless it is in a highly concentrated dose or the area is not well ventilated.

The average homeowner doesn’t need to add Freon poisoning to their “most likely to succeed” list of everyday dangers, but its seriousness highlights the need to maintain and clean your HVAC equipment on a regular basis.

If you have concerns about Freon poisoning, don’t take the risk yourself—call the professionals at Cassel Air Conditioning and Heating Service. We are happy to take on your Freon or Puron recharging so that you’re never exposed to harmful chemicals. Since 1989, we’ve been making your HVAC maintenance and repair a safe and easy endeavor, with our top-notch service and affordable rates. Call us today to discover how we can help you keep your AC running in top shape for years to come.

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