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Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

AC Refrigerant Huffing: What You Should Know about a Dangerous Trend

You probably don’t think about an air conditioner as being dangerous. But in the wrong hands, the chemical blend that circulates inside of the AC system could be.

This chemical, known as refrigerant (though you might hear it called Freon), has been in the news in recent years, as some people have found ways to abuse the affects it can have on the body. And, unfortunately, there is a possibility that a stranger can access your system and steal the refrigerant right out of it.

What Is Refrigerant Huffing?

It’s a dangerous trend that hospitalizes users and can lead to death. Thieves may find a way to gain access to the refrigerant line connected to the outside portion of your AC system—where service technicians would typically access it if they needed to add refrigerant to the system.

They let refrigerant fill up in a bag or container before quickly inhaling it to feel the effects of the high. The high a user gets from huffing refrigerant is immediate, but it does not last very long. Long-term exposure is particularly devastating, as it can cause lung damage or loss of vision, while the immediate consequences include headaches and burns. In some instances, refrigerant huffing can be deadly.

Should You Be Concerned?

Every home with central AC has a part of their system located outdoors. If a thief finds access into your yard, then they may be able to gain access to the refrigerant line. This is, of course, unsafe for the user, but it also diminishes the effectiveness and efficiency of your AC system.

What Can You Do?

If you want to keep people off of your property, it’s difficult when the average security system only protects you from intruders inside of the home. We recommend having an automatic light system outside of the home that scares away would-be intruders.

But the best step you can take to stop trespassers from inhaling your refrigerant is to install locking refrigerant caps on the line. A technician can do this for you. These caps are tamper-resistant, keeping people from accessing the refrigerant and deterring their plans.

Looking for great AC service in La Plata? Don’t waste your time with the run-around. Give Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. a call and let us do it right the first time!

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