How Do I Know If I Have a Refrigerant Leak

a photo of a woman wondering if she has a refrigerant leak

Coming home to a house that is less than cool is not a good sign. While your air conditioning system may just need a reset of the thermostat to properly cool your home again, it could be a bigger issue such as a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is sometimes referred to as Freon and is a chemical that helps to cool and dehumidify your home. Refrigerant leaks are potentially dangerous so it’s important to know the signs that your AC may have a leak and what to do about it.

Signs You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Your AC isn’t cooling your home.

This is a telltale sign of low refrigerant levels. When the refrigerant levels begin to drop, your AC has to work harder to cool down your home. If you notice your system seems to be starting and stopping more frequently, this could mean that it’s working overtime to compensate for the loss of refrigerant. Although refrigerant is the “fuel” that your air conditioning system uses to cool your home, it doesn’t function like gasoline for your car. While you have to replenish gas in a vehicle, you shouldn’t have to replace refrigerant.

The cabinets are making a strange noise.

A noisy AC is cause for concern because it may be indicative of a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant flows through ducts which can be punctured and allow the chemicals to escape. As the refrigerant escapes, it will often make a hissing sound that can be heard from outside of the cabinet.

You notice a dark residue.

Sometimes, refrigerant leaks may be visible to the naked eye. If you notice a dark and greasy residue in your home, it could mean that refrigerant is leaking in that area! In a situation like this, skip cleaning the spot and call a technician.

The evaporator coil is frozen.

If refrigerant levels drop, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze or accumulate ice. When functioning correctly, the evaporator coil absorbs heat from inside and warms up the refrigerant. But when refrigerant levels are low due to a leak, there isn’t enough heat for the evaporator coil to warm the chemicals.

What to do If You Have a Refrigerant Leak

While some AC repairs you can do yourself, refrigerant leaks should be diagnosed and repaired by a trained technician. At One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Clearwater, we pride ourselves on making sure you feel comfortable year round and helping you stay safe from potential refrigerant leaks! Our team of experienced technicians are trained in diagnosing and repairing refrigerant leaks and will ensure any leak is detected and fixed right away. If you think that you have a refrigerant leak, call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Clearwater today at (727) 245-0378.