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Defining Freon & Its Role in HVAC Systems

 

Facts About Freon

There are so many modern home inventions that make life easier: refrigerators, microwaves, flushable toilets, and who could forget air conditioning. A functional AC system eases the hot humid days of summer to make them a bit more comfortable. Without the AC, that feeling of cool comfort starts to disappear. In this article, homeowners can learn more about the role of freon in AC systems and what causes freon to leak and spark other AC problems.

What Exactly Is Freon?

freon system

Freon is a cooling agent (also known as a refrigerant) used in most air conditioning systems today. The refrigerant in an AC system is used to create the cool air that circulates the house. But if freon leaks, it can be quite dangerous. Freon is a lethal, toxic substance. It can result in death simply from inhaling the substance. Therefore, freon leaks should always be handled by professionals that have the appropriate safety gear. If the damage done by the freon leak is minor, the AC system can often be repaired by replacing the individual component that caused the leak. But when the damage is severe, it may require a new AC system to be installed.

Fixing Freon Leaks With HVAC Services

Due to the toxic nature of freon leaks, they should always be handled by HVAC professionals, but it’s the homeowner’s job to be aware of the signs of a freon leak. One of the biggest tell-tale signs of a freon leak is a foul odor that occurs when the AC kicks on.

While freon leaks are pretty rare, they can happen due to four main causes.

  • Improper installation of the unit.
  • Manufacturing defects.
  • Damage done to the AC components.
  • Erosion of metal on the unit.

Maintenance Tips for Freon Leak Prevention

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Unfortunately, some freon leaks can’t be prevented. If there was a factory defect, the unit has been broken since it was first made and will need to be repaired or replaced before it’s even used. But in other cases, there are a few things homeowners can do to prevent freon leaks.

  • How to avoid improper installation: Always research HVAC professionals before hiring them to install an air conditioner. Homeowners want a technician who will do a careful job to ensure that everything is set up properly. Do they have good reviews? Do they offer lifetime guarantees? How long have they been installing AC systems? Answering these questions can help homeowners determine if someone is really qualified for the job.
  • How to avoid AC damage: Homeowners should be mindful when doing yard work. Mowing over a rock, stick, or other items can result in a loud thud as the item goes shooting out the side of the mower. If it hits the outdoor AC unit, it could do some damage to the components depending on where it hits. Homeowners should also inspect the unit for damage after a major storm. If there are dents, leaks, or other issues, contact a professional to check it out and make sure it’s nothing serious.
  • How to avoid erosion: While eroded metal can’t be completely avoided, homeowners have a responsibility to regularly take note of any erosion that is occurring on the AC unit. If the erosion starts to advance, it’s best to replace the eroded components before they start to leak.

About Polestar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

hvac profesional

 

Having served the greater Kansas City metro area since 1984, Polestar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning knows the unique plumbing and indoor comfort needs of the local community. They know it’s not just about getting the job done, it's about the relationship. They can cover any plumbing, heating, and cooling needs from repairs to installation to maintenance.