Feel dismayed when you notice gas escaping from your air conditioner?
Your air conditioner may be leaking. You should not brush off aircon water leaking, ignore and continue using it. Neither should you adopt a “wait and see” approach.
A leaking air conditioner may stem from various reasons, like a clogged condensation line, drain line, a malfunctioning Schrader valve and mechanical damage to refrigerant lines, among many more.
Poses a Health Risk
Air conditioners usually use a type of fluorocarbon refrigerant, Puron, or R22 coolants. Older models made before 2010 typically use DuPont’s Freon. Newer models like the Daikin iSmile 5 ticks and Mitsubishi Starmex 5 ticks air conditioners use the safer and environmentally-friendly R410A coolant.
Whatever it is, these are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) categorized under controlled substances that must be disposed of carefully. This is because they are harmful when inhaled, producing intoxication effects similar to that of alcohol.
CFCs can cause headaches, lightheadedness, tremors, asphyxiation and even death. When it comes into contact with skin, it can result in skin irritation, dermatitis and even frostbite. CFCs can also impair a person’s immunity and cause problems directly to the central nervous system.
Therefore, if your air conditioner’s coolant leaks, it quickly evaporates into a gas substance and can cause the above health problems when inhaled.
A leaking air conditioner does not just cause health risks to users, but to itself as well. When you keep your leaking air conditioner running, it stresses and strains its compressor.
Not only does it increase your overall energy consumption significantly, it also incurs expensive repair fees. Sometimes, you might even have to replace your entire compressor. Hence, if you notice a ridiculous hike in your energy bills, your leaking air conditioner may be the reason.
Dangerous to Other Life Forms
If CFCs are inappropriately disposed of, they can seep into and contaminate the earth. If so, it can pass into different sources of underground water that other life forms consume from. If they consume this contaminated toxic substance, it can be hazardous to their health.
Sometimes, you may not notice a gas leak. Here are some ways to do so:
Do you smell something funky in the air? Perform occasional checks by sniffing to detect a smell of gas, which is usually strong-smelling.
Occasionally, other factors may mask the smell. If you are unsure, get a technician to have it checked for you.
Use a Flame Burner Test
You can use a portable flame burner to carry out this test. Slowly run the flame burner through the length of the air conditioner coolant pipe. If leakage is present, the flame it emits will change colour from greenish-blue to a green hue.
Check Pipes for Visible Stains
If there is a gas leak, your refrigerant and cooling pipes will most likely be stained. Inspect the pipes to see if there are oil stains, for example.