Refrigerant Huffing: Why You Need To Know About It

There is a dangerous and shocking trend among drug-abusing teens these days: refrigerant huffing. This potentially fatal practice is becoming more common, though it is easily preventable. Some teens are intentionally inhaling coolant from residential A/Cs and heat pumps, accessing it from the outside condensing units. Refrigerant huffing may cause some of the following harmful effects:

  • Freezing of the lungs, causing immediate death
  • Heart attack
  • Frostbite to airways and throat
  • Loss of consciousness/coma
  • Permanent damage to the brain

The best prevention is to educate your kids about the dangers of refrigerant huffing as well as educating yourself about the dangers of operating your air conditioner with low refrigerant levels and how this may damage your cooling system.

Home and business owners often report what they think are refrigerant leaks, but after an inspection, a qualified service person finds that they had lost the refrigerant due to theft. Loss of refrigerant may also reduce your A/C's cooling output and eventually lead to breakdowns.

A qualified service technician can install a locking cap on your outdoor A/C condenser that's similar to a locking gas cap on your automobile. Many newer units are equipped with a tamper-resistant internal hose, making it more difficult to be messed with. 

If you have any concerns, suspect that your HVAC system may have been tampered with, or wish to talk to one of our experts about this issue, please contact us at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating. We've been proudly serving the Mid-Ohio area since 1965.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about refrigerant huffing and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

« Back to General Blog