Tips for Detecting a R-22 Leak


In the hot summer months, your air conditioner might be your most valuable appliance. When your HVAC stops working, we know it can feel like the world has stopped turning. R-22 leaks are one of the most common fixes for your air conditioner. Looking for telltale signs of a R-22 leak and staying up to date on routine maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs and keep you cool all summer long.

What is R-22?

R-22 is a chemical compound used in the compressor of your air conditioning unit. The non-flammable, non-toxic chemical is a key cooling element. Unlike a car, which operates by consuming the gas in its tank until you run out, your air conditioner needs a full tank of R-22 at all times to keep you cool. If your HVAC is leaking R-22, your unit will stop working almost immediately.

What Does R-22 Look and Smell Like?

R-22 is colorless, mostly odorless and comes in liquid and gas form depending on its temperature so you probably won’t see or smell it. Some people can smell faint notes of R-22 and have compared the smell to everything from other chemicals such as ether and chloroform, to common smells such as cut grass or sugary, sweetness. Although R-22 exposure isn’t considered dangerous, in extreme cases a leak may cause dizziness, fainting or cardiac irregularity. Because the chemical affects people differently, don’t rely on these physical signs to determine if you have a leak.

How Do You Spot a R-22 Leak?

The compressor is usually housed outside your home, so it may be hard to spot a leak. If your air conditioner stops working or seems to be blowing warm air, this is a good indication that you may have a leak. A quick way to check your HVAC for leaks is to inspect your copper lines and pipes for frost. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) also recommends that you have an annual service review of your air conditioner to ensure everything is working properly.

Routine checkups are inexpensive and can help you spot trouble before it becomes a real problem. Contact Empire HVAC, air conditioning repair experts in Atlanta, for a quote and make sure your air conditioner is working properly today. If you have a leak, don’t worry. Our team will help you understand the cost of leaks and recommend the best and most affordable options for repair.

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