Huffing Refrigerant Not Only Poses A Health Risk, It Could Reduce System Efficiency, Too

Air conditioners are filled with refrigerant, a chemical that alternates between a liquid and gaseous state to help move heat out of our homes. Huffing refrigerant, also called “bagging,” is one of the latest ways to get a cheap, fast high. Not only will this practice lessen the efficiency of your system, it can be fatal to the one doing the huffing.

Huffing refrigerant health risks

Made primarily of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), refrigerant can poison those who huff it. The symptoms of refrigerant poisoning include difficulty breathing, throat pain and swelling, impaired vision, vomiting blood, irregular heart rhythm, blood in the stool and a burning sensation in the nose, lips, eyes and tongue. The outcome of refrigerant poisoning depends on the amount of refrigerant an individual was exposed to and how quickly the person receives medical attention. Severe cases of poisoning from huffing refrigerant can lead to severe lung damage, irreversible brain damage or death.

Huffing refrigerant can lead to cardiac arrest, as the chemicals are toxic to the heart. Circulatory collapse and “sudden sniffing death syndrome” are also among the serious consequences of this practice. Sudden sniffing death syndrome occurs because the sudden rush of adrenaline is too much for the heart to handle.

Air conditioner damage

When an individual huffs the refrigerant from an air conditioner, the unit can start to leak the cooling chemicals. Consequently, when refrigerant levels get low, the compressor has to work harder to cool a home, making the air conditioner inefficient. A refrigerant loss of as little as 10 percent can make your energy bills increase by up to 20 percent. Plus, when the compressor is stressed, almost every part of the cooling system can become damaged. To help prevent others from huffing refrigerant from your air conditioner, ask your air conditioning contractor to install a lock on the A/C and/or the refrigerant caps. If you notice a refrigerant leak from your A/C, have an air conditioning contractor seal the leak ASAP.

For more expert advice about refrigerant and other issues related to home comfort, please feel free to contact Beyer Boys. We’ve been serving the San Antonio area since 1990.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Beyer Boys services San Antonio, TX. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!

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