Refrigerant huffing is one of the most dangerous ways that teenagers, mostly, have found to get high. They remove the cover from the A/C service valve to access the refrigerant to get high. Abusers either inhale it on your property or capture it in a plastic bag to use later. It’s physically dangerous for both the inhaler and your air conditioner.
People who inhale refrigerant are at risk for long-term heart, lung and brain damage. Someone caught huffing may even experience cardiac arrest, since the combination of refrigerant and adrenalin can stop the heart, causing death.
Running your air conditioner with low refrigerant drives up your electric bill, since it takes longer to cool your home. When the level drops too far, it can stop the system altogether. If your system runs long with low refrigerant, the compressor can even burn out, requiring an expensive repair.
An HVAC technician can check the refrigerant level in your system and install a locking safety cap on the service valve to prevent refrigerant huffing. The technician will check the pressure, look for leaks in the system and charge the system if it’s low. Only you and the people you authorize will be able to open the service valve once the safety cap is in place.
Refrigerant huffing can be especially costly if your A/C uses R-22 or Freon. Because R-22 contributes to global warming and depletion of the ozone layer, the EPA has placed strict limits on the amount of R-22 that can be manufactured. As a consequence, its price has increased considerably.
If your condenser sits on the ground, your system is at risk. Considering how much we rely on our air conditioners to get through the long summers here, having your A/C checked and protected against refrigerant huffing is your best recourse.
If you’d like to learn more about refrigerant huffing, contact AirRite Air Conditioning Company. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Arlington and Fort Worth area since 1955.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about refrigerant huffing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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