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Question DetailsAsked on 9/15/2017

Hit a pipe on my window ac unit and the freon leaked our into the kitchen how long should me and animals stay out

Small window ac unit leaked all freon out

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1 Answer


Freon and most other air conditioning refrigerants are far denser than air, so will settle to low places - which would the lowest floor on the house the most likely to be dangerous, and especially for low-living animals like pets. Personally, if it were my house I would open all indows, and any doors lower than the air conditioner, and let the breeze blow through for an hour - or set up a fan to help if dead air conditions, and leave windows part open all night for ventilation, and keep the animals out of low areas for a day.

But not knowing the specific chemical you have in your unit (might or might not actually be Freon), or any specific sensitivities you or the pets might have to it, I would call your fire department and ask if they will bring their smoke removal fans and air the house out for you - they also have chemical concentration detectors which can determine if you have a hazardous level in the house or not, both before and after blowing out. This is the sort of thing they are there for - not an urgent emergency probably, but potentially health and life threatening, so I would call them and park yourself and the animals either upstairs with window open, or maybe outside or in the car till they can blow it out. Depending on your locale, however, theremight or might not be a charge - typically zero to $500 for a fire department call, but hopefully that would not deter you from it. However, might not hurt to ask - because some fire departments are charging thousands for responses, and this might involve a hazardous materials response team response - so might run into more than nominal $, though your homeowner's insurance should cover all but your deductible amount for this sort of thing.

Second alternative - call a 24 hour Water and Smoke Damage contractor to come with their moisture removal fans (used after flooding events) to air out the house for an hour or two. For emergency call, probably $500 range again.

And until then, do not turn on any appliances or turn switches on or off - some refrigerants, especially in imported window and portable air conditioners, are charged with flammable gas.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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