aircon gas leaking

The Causes, Signs & Danger of Aircon Gas Leaking

What is an aircon gas leak?

We all know that air conditioners use chlorofluorocarbons or R22 to cool living spaces. All of these chemicals are potent and dangerous, so they must be handled with care when disposing of them.

If a leak occurs, the gas can cause your system not to work properly no matter how high you set it on the thermostat! It is hard for an AC technician to go inside your unit because there’s usually nothing wrong with its interior parts- at least from the outside.

These coolants may leak due to various reasons and cause your aircon is not cooling.

Let’s dive in more about the gas leaking problem in your air conditioner.

Related read: Common AC problems in Singapore.

Can you smell if there is a gas leak?

Girls showing smell bad face pointing air conditioner

When there is a gas leak, the smell is like something between chloroform and sweet. And it can be toxic. If you think there is a gas leak in your home, always talk to a professional.  He or she can use a detector that can tell if there is a gas leak and can then take care of it safely and efficiently.

Related read: Warning signs of low refrigerant levels in AC.

What occurs when there is an AC gas leak?

When an aircon has coolant leaking from it, it turns into gas. This gas is lethal and can create nausea and sometimes asphyxiation. In addition, when the gas leaks, it can cause skin irritation and dryness, as well as increase heart rate. When you are exposed to gas repeatedly, it can lead to life-threatening medical conditions.

What are the causes of aircon gas leaks?

1. Corrosion

Pitting corrosion occurs when there is repeated exposure to fluorides in the water, and there is chloride found in cleaning chemicals and detergents. The ions that are in fluoride and chloride attack the coil, which creates a leaking of gas refrigerant.

However, formicary corrosion is caused by continued exposure to formic acids or acetic acids found in cleaning solvents.

2. Mechanical harm to refrigerant lines

The cooling effect in the aircon is created when the refrigerant gas moves between the outdoor condenser coil and the indoor evaporator coil. The refrigerant lines are typically constructed of copper.  They must move the refrigerant between the condenser and the evaporator. When there is mechanical damage to these lines, the aircon can leak.

3. Malfunctioning Schrader Valve

When the Schrader Valve’s seal is damaged, an AC gas leak can occur as well as other refrigerant gas issues that a professional can pinpoint.

4. Control valve leaky connections

Sometimes the primary culprit is leaky lines that surround the control valves. If the valve is attached correctly and cleaned correctly, you can generally avoid the problem.

5. Fitting controls that are poorly soldered

It is not uncommon in the industry for there to be soldering issues. Aircon leaks can easily be created when cold joints are caused by a solder that is improperly melted. Just like a disturbed joint, an overheated joint can also turn into a wrongly fixed joint.  This can cause gas leaks from air conditioning units to be present.

Aircon gas leaks dangers

When aircon gas leaks from an aircon, it is terrible for the health of the machine and various kinds of living beings on Earth. Therefore, this kind of link can be devasting in more ways than one. Below are the health hazards and dangers presented by such leaks.

It is harmful to human health

When gas leaks out of an aircon, there can be many health hazards for humans. Two issues are typically headache and nausea caused by leaking aircon units. CFCS rapidly takes in heat and therefore, prolonged exposure to pressurized CFC can lead to frostbite. With short-term exposure to this kind of gas, there can be conditions such as skin cracking tremors, reduced coordination, increased heart rate, convulsions, etc. When you are exposed to gas, there can be severe medical conditions, including unconsciousness, shortness of breath, skin cancer, cataracts, etc. In addition to all of these, there can also be asphyxiation.

Your aircon can be damage

Aircon leaks are the primary culprit that can increase one’s electricity bill by a significant amount. As a result of various studies, leaking aircon can create 20 per cent more electricity. When you continue using a leaking aircon, a lot of pressure can occur to the compressor. This can eventually lead to the compressor breaking. The cost of replacing a compressor is more expensive than repairing a leaking aircon.  Therefore, it’s better to deal with the leaking aircon immediately.

There can be a danger to the various life forms: The coolant that leaks from the aircon is the main problem. The unit uses coolants that are chlorofluorocarbons. It would be best to dispose of a CFC correctly because they evaporate gas rapidly. Our Earth can also absorb them. A leaking aircon is harmful to animals, plants, humans, and microorganisms, both directly and indirectly, because of their dependence on water.

Can an AC leak lead to death?

Freon is lethal and toxic.  Therefore, freon leaks should always be handled by professional air conditioning repair technicians. Inhaling the freon is highly poisonous and can lead to death.

How should I fix a leaking air-conditioner gas?

Professional aircon experts best fix the leaks and top up the gas to the right level. Any different scenarios cause gas leaks, and only a professional can determine. In case you didn’t know, you must remove all of the refrigerants from the system to repair an air conditioner or repair a heat pump piping, evaporator coil/cooling coil, condensing coil, or tubing.

An aircon technician will take a pump, and connect it to vacuum the system.  This will remove the air, gas, debris, and moisture. Therefore, an evacuator pump is needed.


If you smell gas or if an aircon is leaking, it could put your family in serious danger. You should call an air conditioning expert as soon as possible to repair the leak and make sure everyone in the home remains safe. Keeping your AC running safely requires regular maintenance, so contact a qualified specialist like us today for repairs!  

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