Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Prevent Refrigerant Huffing With A Cap On Your A/C Service Valve

If you haven’t heard of refrigerant huffing, you’re not alone. It’s a growing practice among drug abusers that involves removing the cap from the service valve on your outdoor air conditioning condenser and inhaling the refrigerant to get high. It’s a dangerous practice that can be fatal. It’s also not good for your A/C, and in southwest Arizona in the summer, you depend on this equipment for your own health and comfort around the clock.prevent refrigerant huffing yuma arizona

You may have been a victim of refrigerant huffing if your A/C isn’t working as well as before, or your electric bills have risen for no apparent reason. If you’re suspicious, have an HVAC contractor measure the refrigerant pressure inside your system. If it’s low, he or she will look for leaks in the coils or connections. If none are present, someone may have used your condenser for huffing. Having the technician install a locking safety cap on the condenser is a sure way to stop someone from stealing coolant from your A/C.

While the health consequences of huffing are serious and potentially fatal, the potential damage from low refrigerant pressure in your system is also serious. With low refrigerant, your air conditioner must run longer, which adds wear and tear to the system. When the pressure drops too low, it will stop altogether. The main part of your A/C that’s vulnerable to low pressure is the compressor. Running it with low refrigerant may cause it to fail.

If your A/C uses R-22 refrigerant, the sooner you put a locking safety cap on it, the better. The negative human and environmental consequences of this chemical are many, and the EPA has restricted its production, so its price is rising.

If you would like more information about refrigerant huffing and how to prevent the practice in your Yuma-area home, please contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’ve provided quality HVAC services since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about refrigerant huffing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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