I don’t know about you, but I really dislike chemistry. I appreciate all that it has done for me, and I really enjoyed the “Fire Fridays” we had in my high school chemistry class, but chemistry was not and is not my thing. Perhaps that’s why I have never quite understood refrigerants in air conditioning. No, not refrigerators, but refrigerants. I feel as if there is someone out there like me who probably does not quite get it either. So, I did some research and I am going to try to give you just a little information about it.
Freon or Chlorofluorcarbon (CFC) is a refrigerant that was invented in 1928 and has been used for refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosols etc…. Freon was great at the beginning of the 20th century, because it was non-toxic and non-flammable. It wasn’t until later that it was discovered that it harmed the ozone.
If a Freon leak is detected, the good news is that as it is non-toxic, it is not that dangerous. However, if you have heart problems you should be more concerned. If you notice a leak, it is best to get it fixed as soon as possible and to open windows and move to an area with fresh air while you wait.
As I mentioned, Freon or R-22 is one of the items that is working on depleting the ozone. Therefore, it is being slowly and gradually phased out and replaced by other, safer, refrigerants such as R-410A (Puron). Unlike Freon, Puron is not harmful to the ozone and that is not the only reason that it is swiftly becoming the best choice of refrigerant for new systems. R-22 (Freon) is limited and it is much more expensive than Puron. As of 2010, no new equipment can be produced with R-22.
Refrigerants are needed for your air conditioner. If it is installed correctly you should never need a replacement. However, if you are concerned that you have detected a leak, please contact A.B. May!
Works Cited: www.puron.com Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Chlorofluorocarbon Environment, Health and Safety Online: Freon Exposure and Your Health and About.com: Inventors, Freon