If you suspect an air conditioner refrigerant leak at your home, you probably already know something just isn’t right with your air conditioning unit. Take action to address your refrigerant leak to improve energy efficiency, reduce the risk of damaging your air conditioning system, and prevent possible exposure to chemicals like Freon.

By understanding which repairs you can make safely and when it’s better to call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, you’ll be ready to address refrigerant leaks and stay comfortable.

Don’t let a possible leak linger. Contact a One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning technician today.

The Signs of a Refrigerant Leak in Your AC 

There are a few signs of a refrigerant leak:

  • Puddle of liquid or signs of moisture near the unit
  • Less-effective cooling
  • Ice buildup on evaporator coils
  • Higher than normal levels of indoor humidity
  • Long cooling cycles (air conditioner stays on longer)
  • Increase in energy bills
  • Noticeable bubbling sounds from your AC unit

If there’s no obvious puddle of liquid and you’re trying to figure out if you have a leak, run through these common signs in greater detail. If you’re still unsure, contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning for an expert inspection and any necessary repairs or replacements.

Freon and its subsequent variants used in older air conditioning units can be extremely hazardous to your health. Chemicals, like Freon, can cause burns and lung damage. If you believe your AC unit is leaking, we strongly recommend contacting professionals to address the issue.

What Causes a Refrigerant Leak?

If this is your first time dealing with an AC refrigerant leak, it’s worth knowing why a leak can sometimes occur.

In all AC systems, the refrigerant inside the unit is used to remove heat from the air that’s pulled through your AC system. The amount of refrigerant remains the same throughout the life of your AC unit and doesn’t need to be “topped off” or replaced.

However, it’s possible that other components can fail, creating a leak. In most situations, the coils inside an air conditioner have cracked, causing a slow, steady leak. A reduced level of refrigerant can lead to the issues noted above, but there are additional risks as well.

Failure to fix your AC unit can lead to long-term problems, such as:

  • Damage to your AC unit
  • Increased energy consumption
  • Damage to the atmosphere’s ozone layer (caused by chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerant)
  • Damage to the climate (modern refrigerants release super-intense greenhouse gases)

How to Find a Refrigerant Leak in Your AC Unit 

It can be very hard to locate the source of a leak if it’s in your AC coils. Professional HVAC companies like One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning have specialized equipment to locate the holes or cracks causing your leak.

This process requires an in-depth working knowledge of your AC unit and HVAC system. It often requires special equipment and could expose homeowners to dangerous chemicals if self-performed. Trust One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to make the fix. We’ll be able to identify the cause and make a repair to get your unit working normally again.

Depending on the location and severity of the damage, your HVAC technician will perform one of two common repairs.

  • Patch the cracked coil. If the hole isn’t too large, your technician will repair the hole using a patch designed to hold up to the refrigerant liquid and reduce the risk of further leaks.
  • Coil replacement. If there’s more than one hole or if there are signs of wear on the coil or contamination, your HVAC technician will likely recommend replacing the whole coil. One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning will source a replacement coil and complete the installation.

Your technician may also recommend replacing your AC with a newer, more efficient model.

How Not to Fix a Refrigerant Leak in Your AC 

It’s worth pointing out what doesn’t fix an AC leak. Some HVAC technicians will simply ‘top off’ AC units with a leak, but this isn’t a real fix. If a leak is the cause of low refrigerant levels, homeowners will need service again soon. In fact, it could cause more harm than good, since having too much refrigerant in your AC unit can decrease performance.

Prevent Refrigerant Leaks with Regular Maintenance

The best way to prevent refrigerant leaks in the first place is to make seasonal maintenance a priority. We recommend having your cooling system inspected and serviced each spring and fall. This ensures your air conditioner is ready for a full summer of performance and that it’s properly sealed before the offseason.

Full-Service Air Conditioning Repair Services in Your Neighborhood

When you need help finding and fixing a refrigerant leak (or emergency service to get your AC running again), the professionals at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning can make quick work of even the toughest HVAC issues. Call (800) 893-3523 or request your appointment today.