Huffing isn’t a new idea. Getting high off inhalants found in everything from spray paint to permanent markers has been a pop culture norm for quite some time. A recent resurgence of this topic in the news isn’t really surprising either. Neither is the fact that users are inhaling refrigerants to accomplish their high. The surprising fact is where teenagers are getting this substance - straight out of the air conditioning unit in their backyard.

So much for going outside to play catch or chase the dog around. These kids are sitting around out back taking hits of mom and dad’s a/c unit.

Some might laugh at the absurdity of the concept, but the truth of the matter is, this practice has lead directly to multiple deaths and traumatic brain injuries, as well as permanent brain damage if the user is lucky enough to survive.

What happens when these teenage huffers grow up and begin working in your HVACR shop? Not possible you say? One California contractor thought the same thing until he opened the back of a service vehicle and found his dead technician next to a refrigerant canister with a refrigerant hose stuck in his mouth.

As an industry, maybe its time to start educating the general public about locking up their refrigerants for the sake of the proper functioning of the equipment and the environment, but most importantly for the sake of their children. It might also be time to take a closer look at the technicians in your shop as well.