What General Safety Tips should I know When Servicing Automotive A/C Systems?
Always follow these Safety Precautions when working around heating and air conditioning systems:
Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry, especially around moving parts such as fans, belts and pulleys
Always be aware that engine cooling and air conditioning systems operate under extreme pressures and temperatures
Always wear eye protection. Escaping liquid refrigerant can cause frostbite or other eye damage, and escaping hot engine coolant can burn the skin
Do not smoke in the presence of refrigerants. Some refrigerants turns to phosgene, a poisonous gas, when burned
Make sure there is adequate shop ventilation
Do not drop or strike refrigerant containers, and do not expose them to excessive heat because they may burst. Store containers in a cool place.
When leak checking a system, NEVER pressurize the system with oxygen or compressed air. When mixed with refrigerants, oxygen or compressed air can cause an explosion. To determine the safe pressure for leak testing check the data plate for the low-side test pressure value.
In the event of a “large” release of refrigerant in a confined area, Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is required. If a large leak of refrigerant occurs in an enclosed are, and SCBA is not available, IMMEDIATELY VACATE AND VENTILATE the area. In large quantities, refrigerants can cause suffocation because they are heavier than air and displaced oxygen. Inhaling refrigerant vapors or mist may cause heart irregularities,unconsciousness,and oxygen deprivation leading to death (Asphyxia)