Everyone takes heating and air conditioning for granted. Sometimes they take the repair technicians for granted too, never realizing what dangerous work air conditioning repair really is. If you have never thought about the dangers of this job or you are completely in the dark, now is the time to learn about them.
Refrigerants' Skin and Body-Damaging Effects
Although an air conditioning service and repair technician may never actually breathe in the gas refrigerants used in air conditioners, he or she might encounter situations where the liquid portion of the refrigerants could leak onto the skin. In most cases, this is isopentane, which boils when it is exposed to warmer air outside of the refrigerant's containment. It will eat holes in bare flesh and if accidentally consumed, the smallest amount is lethal. It is highly flammable and can explode.
The other refrigerant, isobutane, is equally as explosive. Electrical sparks can ignite a lead from the air conditioner and blow your repair technician sky high. Inside an air conditioner, it is a gas and mixes with the liquid isopentane to cool warmer air. Essentially, you have a toxic, skin-burning, lethal bomb sitting outside your home, and the repair technician knows it when you call him or her for air conditioning service and repair.
It is understood that any electrical components that have a short or have wires exposed to the elements because rodents decided to chew on them are particularly dangerous. Many central air conditioning units use up to 3,500 watts of electricity. Just to put things in perspective for you, the human heart uses the equivalent energy to one to two watts.
It does not take much more than that to stop the human heart and the least amount of wattage of any air conditioner is 500 watts, about five hundred times the amount of energy the human heart uses. The smallest jolt from the wire cables off your air conditioner or contact with a puddle of water and your HVAC technician will need an ambulance.
If You Were to Attempt Repairs Yourself
Now that you know the dangers your repair person puts him- or herself in everyday, it just is not worth it to attempt the repairs yourself. You are not trained to handle these situations in the same way a plumber, electrician or HVAC technician is. They know they could blow up, be electrocuted or have their flesh consumed with lethal refrigerants, yet they still come to work every day. Let them do their job, be assured that your home is safe, and your air conditioning will work perfectly when they finish the job.