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Is a Freon Leak Dangerous?

Busted AC unit shows air blowing out of damaged coil, indicating a Freon leak.

If your air conditioner is giving you trouble all of a sudden, you might want to check and make sure it’s not the worst-case scenario. We’re talking about Freon leaks, of course. 

Believe it or not, Freon (also known as refrigerant) leaks are more common than you might think! If you’re conscientious about keeping up with regular AC maintenance in Grand Cayman and your system springs a leak, there’s a good chance this can be identified before it causes major damage to your equipment. It’s good to be informed about major air conditioner problems — especially ones that may not have readily available repair parts in Cayman.

Is a Freon leak dangerous? What should you do if you spot a leak in your home? We’ll answer all these questions and more below.

What Causes AC Refrigerant Leaks?

Most AC breakdowns are caused by age-related wear and tear, and refrigerant leaks are no exception. As your air conditioning system approaches the end of its useful life, the joints, evaporator coil and condenser coil are the first parts of your AC unit to deteriorate. When they become worn down, they develop holes that leak refrigerant.

With that in mind, there is a specific type of corrosion (called formicary corrosion) that causes refrigerant leaks even on relatively new systems. Fortunately, most manufacturers have made improvements to the materials in order to prevent these issues. 

Below we share 5 signs of a freon leak. If you notice any of these signs contact your friendly technicians at Polar Bear and we may recommend a professional refrigerant leak search to confirm if there is a leak and exactly where it is. Doing so will protect your home from the dangers of freon leaks and empower you with concrete options to solve the problem for good.

Does Refrigerant Need to be Replaced?

No! Refrigerant does not get “used up” like oil or gas. Unless there is a leak somewhere in your unit, Freon should remain intact for the lifetime of your air conditioning system. It also does not have an expiration date, so you never have to worry about replacing it. 

5 Common Symptoms of an AC Freon Leak

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t make a habit of checking your outdoor air conditioner daily. When everything is working properly, you shouldn’t have to! But keep these inconspicuous signs in mind, so you know when to check if your AC is leaking.

Is a Freon Leak a Major Problem for an Air Conditioner?

We referred to freon leaks as a “worst-case scenario”. You might be wondering why that is… Apart from the potential health risks there are a number of reasons refrigerant leaks are usually major problems.

  • Firstly, in order to fix freon leaks properly it requires a very specific procedure, as well as, replacing all of the original refrigerant! This is a bit like doing surgery on your AC system and can be expensive.
  • When an air conditioning system runs on low refrigerant it can cause damage to the compressor – the heart of the system – thereby shortening the system lifespan.
  • Also, it is common for the evaporator coil in the indoor air handler to freeze into a big block of ice during a refrigerant leak. If undetected the ice can melt and can cause damage to the internal insulation and air handler cabinet.
  • Lastly, as a consequence of the melting ice in the evaporator coil, heavy moisture can build up in the air handler and ductwork and promote the growth of microorganisms like mold and mildew.

This is why finding refrigerant leaks early is a huge advantage and this is why preventative air conditioning maintenance in Cayman is so important!

What Are the Health Risks of an AC Freon Leak?

So, is a Freon leak dangerous? This largely depends on several factors:

  • Whether your exposure is long-term or short-term
  • The levels of exposure
  • The type of refrigerant
  • If the solution was ingested or inhaled‌
  • If the solution spilled onto your skin

Depending on the above factors, you might suffer from headaches, coughing, shortness of breath, eye irritation, or worse. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a medical professional if you’re showing symptoms of refrigerant poisoning!

Freon is not only dangerous for humans and our furry friends but also for the environment overall. It contains harmful chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, which is why most countries have taken action to phase out R-22 refrigerant. 

Contact Polar Bear for AC Freon Leak Detection and Repair Services

Now that you understand the dangers of a Freon leak, we bet you’ll never skip another quarterly air conditioning maintenance check. So don’t wait until you need an air conditioner repair — especially if your system is showing signs of a refrigerant leak, such as blowing warm air or taking a long time to cool down. 

To restore cool air and peace of mind in your home, contact us today. We’ll thoroughly check your condenser and evaporator coils using specialized technology and offer you an affordable, long-lasting solution. 

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John Thistle
John Thistle
21:32 17 May 23
I recently had my air conditioning unit installed by Polar Bear Air Conditioning in Cayman Kai. I was very pleased with the service I received. The workmen, Jerome, Tony, and Nathan, were all professional and courteous. They arrived on time and were dressed in their uniforms. They laid out carpeting where they would be walking inside the house to avoid leaving debris or making a mess. They worked clean and kept the space tidy. They were polite and provided me a good understanding of the work they completed as well as showed me all pieces of equipment. They emailed me a jpg image of each piece of equipment's information plate so that I could record it in my home management software, as requested.Here are some specific details about the work they did:They installed 3 new high-efficiency air conditioning units that are much more energy-efficient (26 SEER) than my old units.They cleaned and disinfected the air ducts, as well as replaced previously installed flex ducts with rigid duct work that is superior in efficiency and durability.They installed new filters to help keep the air clean and free of allergens.They explained the operation of the new units to me and answered all of my questions.They cleaned up after themselves and left my home in good condition.I would highly recommend Polar Bear Air Conditioning to anyone in need of air conditioning installation or service. They are a professional and reliable company that provides excellent customer service.
Charles Mobley
Charles Mobley
01:19 01 May 23
Our ac stopped working a few weeks ago and Polar Bear sent Roemaine and Tyrone to diagnose the problem. Roemaine and Tyrone very quickly identified the problem and communicated with me. It turns out the best option was replacing the condensing unit which Paul quoted within a matter of minutes and they had expert installation team (Tony and Jerome) complete late in the afternoon with short notice. I’m very happy with their work!
TQ
TQ
17:26 22 Feb 23
I have, over the years been trying to find a reliable, professional A/C maintenance and repair company. I have tried a few. That search is now over after using Polar Bear. Billy and Jerry were absolutely a pleasure to work with. Knowledgeable and professional from the initial diagnosis to the final repair. I highly recommend this company and the team that came to do work on my AC. Tim.
Gill Gordon
Gill Gordon
01:58 27 Jan 23
Polar Bear technicians are always very polite, friendly and professional in their service. Each of their technicians that we have dealt with have been great and they are always super responsive to getting someone out. Pictured are Antony and Billy who completed our recent service 👍
Zichri M.
Zichri M.
22:27 30 Dec 22
Great work. I received an email and also a call from the dispatcher that the tech would be calling me, and sure enough, the tech (Simon) called shortly after that to let me know he was on his way which was very much appreciated. The customer service from all of the team and updates was spot on, and Simon was very thorough and very knowledgeable. He was also very courteous and professional. I rate Polar Bear as the best company in town. Great work!
Glenroy Miller
Glenroy Miller
03:27 24 Dec 22
Tyrone is very knowledgeable and professional, he gave me a step by step update of what he was doing. He also gave advice on how best to protect not only the unit but my family. My wife and I are totally satisfied with the service.
Kyle Roberts
Kyle Roberts
22:50 23 Dec 22
Polar Bear's service and response was amazing! Nicole who answered my phone call and scheduled me was extremely friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable! The Technician assigned to me was Simon and he was also extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. Within a minute of looking at my system he knew what the errors and issues were! He was able to fix one of the two problems that day, and then came scheduled and came the following day to fix the remaining issue. He was perfectly on time and the courtesy call before arrival both times before arriving was a welcome touch as it made sure that I was ready.Will continue using polar bear for all my HVAC needs! 5*
Kayla Shibli
Kayla Shibli
01:09 05 Oct 22
My experience with Polar Bear has been awesome!!!! From the beginning, the office staff were so professional and kind, then receiving my AC quote, the gentleman has been very prompt in his response time—, the kind of employee that puts customer first and has such a nice and an approachable attitude, very patient in answering my questions and providing guidance as required by me- customer focus completely, then as if that wasn’t enough to convince me to move my AC maintenance and installation to Polar Bear; the technicians that attended to my AC installation provided such excellent service— what stood out was how they used a carpet that was placed on my floor to avoid making any mess on my floor and whatever mess they did make, the technician used their broom to remove it. I know this message is long but I really wanted to express my THANK YOU and appreciation for such excellent customer service that I’ve experienced by Polar Bear — you have won me as a customer!! THANK YOU! Keep up the excellent customer service!!! Looking forward to building a relationship with you as a new customer.
Robert L White
Robert L White
11:48 15 Aug 22
Olivia and Demitri very professional , competent and are delightful people! She came by and diagnosed some issues with our AC system . I am reviewing your estimate at this time..I truly enjoyed meeting them. They both real assets to your Company!Rob
Omari Rankine
Omari Rankine
04:58 10 Jul 22
I am very pleased with the service that was provided by Polar Bear. I had an issue where the ac was not working at one of my rental properties after hours on a weekend. Rohan came all the way out to East End at 10pm and worked on the issue to get the system back up and running. He was very thorough and explained the issue in detail, and the measures I needed to take to prevent it from reoccurring. Excellent customer service
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