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Freon Leak: How To Check And What Are The Adverse Effects?

Freon Leak: How To Check And What Are The Adverse Effects?

Any type of cooling system is susceptible to freon leakage. Because there are risks involved, it’s crucial to address any freon leaks you detect in your home right once.

A freon leak in the home must be fixed right away since it poses a health risk. You could encounter symptoms like headaches, eye irritation, breathing problems, vomiting, and coughing after a prolonged exposure. But it won’t be fatal unless you inhaled a lot of it.

What Occurs If There Is A Freon Leak In Your Home?

Freon is a refrigerant used in freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and other cooling equipment. If one of these air conditioners leaks freon, it’s one of the worst things that may happen to your house. Freon can seriously harm your house and health if it spreads over time without your knowing.

Effects Of Slight Exposure

Although it is generally thought that minor exposure to freon leaks is safe, those who are exposed may nevertheless exhibit moderate poisoning symptoms, such as:

  • headache
  • having trouble breathing
  • coughing
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • skin sensitivity (or burn caused by direct exposure)

A small case is a refrigerant leak from a household cooling system, such as an air conditioner. However, it can still result in moderate symptoms, particularly if the leak is contained in a closed space and the occupants of the house are exposed to it frequently.

Effects Of Major Exposure

This case report from the National Library of Medicine serves as an illustration of one of the principal effects of a refrigerant leak. Three persons unintentionally ingested freon gas as a result of a leak in a ship’s air conditioning system. The victims were in an unventilated space, which caused them to pass out after five to ten minutes of exposure.

They display a number of serious symptoms, including:

  • consciousness is lost
  • confusion
  • headache
  • total loss of feeling
  • lockjaw
  • momentary unconscious

These examples can help you understand how hazardous extended exposure to freon can be. Consult with HVAC professionals if you believe your cooling system contains a freon leak. In addition to potential health dangers, failing to address the issue quickly enough may require you to completely replace some system components.

How To Check For Freon Leak?

Freon Leak: How To Check And What Are The Adverse Effects?

It can be challenging to find a freon leak because you can’t see it. There are several things you can do as a homeowner to check, though.

You only need to keep an eye on how your unit is performing because the indicators are frequently obvious. The most typical indications of a potential freon leak in air conditioners include:

  • Unusual odor coming from the air conditioner
  • The evaporator coils and other components of the appliance are developing ice.
  • decreased cooling capacity of the air conditioner
  • increased electricity bill as a result of your increased energy usage to keep the temperature cool

There are three ways to check for refrigerant leakage if you have some experience with AC repairs and the appropriate gear.

Soapy Water

Spray the dish soap solution in the joints of the refrigerant lines by adding 2.5 cc of it to a spray bottle with warm water. There is a freon leak in that location if it produces huge bubbles there. It is preferable to use an electronic leak detector if tiny bubbles are formed because this indicates that the leak may be too small to be seen.

Fluorescent Dye Technique

An injection of a particular fluorescent dye causes it to circulate throughout the refrigerant system. The dye should seep if there are any leaks and fall into the holes. Where the leaky components are can be seen with a UV light.

Digital Leak Detector

Turn on the device, then trace the issue down the refrigerant line. The majority of gadgets will beep in a low, constant tone that is reminiscent of a metal detector. The device will light up after a prolonged, loud beep is made when it senses a leak. Many expert technicians use this technique since it is the most effective and accurate approach to find leaks.

The condenser and evaporator coils form a closed line through which Freon moves. These lines are often composed of copper, and if one of them begins to break, a refrigerant leak could result.

The copper may crack for a variety of causes, such as deterioration from use and environmental conditions such the interaction of water and volatile organic substances from the environment.

How Long After a Leak Does Freon Remain in the Air?

Freon Leak: How To Check And What Are The Adverse Effects?

Fortunately, freon leaks quickly disperse due to its high volatility. Only when the gas is contained in a space with no exhaust or ventilation is it harmful. But if you let some fresh air in by opening the windows and doors, the freon will quickly diffuse.

Ventilate the space if the stench of a freon leak is too intense; it should go away entirely in 20 to 30 minutes.

The length of time it takes for the freon supply to entirely leak out depends on the size and location of the leak as well as how much the AC unit has been damaged. The time it takes for the freon to totally leak out and disappear can range from 30 minutes to 6 hours.

What Smell Does Freon Have?

Freon has no scent or odor, so unless you pay attention to other symptoms of it in your HVAC systems, it can be quite challenging to determine whether you have a refrigerant leak.

Although freon’s odor may not be entirely poisonous to humans, it can be fatal to the environment. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) like Freon are non-flammable and non-toxic chemicals, but they can be deadly in high concentrations and are particularly bad for the environment.

Many items employ the CFC chemical in their aerosol sprays and solvents. Due to the threat they represent to the ozone layer, many of these goods are no longer available on the market. It is still used for air conditioners and other cooling systems, but when a refrigerant leak occurs, it becomes even more dangerous since it releases ozone.

How Much Does A Refrigerant Leak Repair Cost?

Freon Leak: How To Check And What Are The Adverse Effects?

Fixing a refrigerant leak could run you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on how bad the damage is. Why does the price range have such a wide range? The cost is based on which components are damaged.

For instance, if you simply need the freon replenished, you should budget between $160 and $375. Your AC unit’s kind, capacity, and age will all affect the price.

The total cost of finding, repairing, and refilling the freon can range from $500 to $1600 depending on your location, service fees, whether any parts need to be replaced, the severity of the damage, and any other unanticipated flaws found during the examination.


We trust that you now fully grasp the risks a freon leak could have to the health of your family. It’s always advisable to hire a professional to check the issue if you ever suffer a freon leak. You cannot just repair this damage yourself with household tools. For identification and repair, specialized equipment is needed.

Freon Leak: How To Check And What Are The Adverse Effects?

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