HVAC Maintenance Tips: How to Check for Refrigerant Leaks


Freon, the most common refrigerant used in older air conditioners, now costs like gold. After all, manufacturing or importing the substance has been illegal in the US since 2020. That led to the supplies of the coolant becoming scarce; thus, its prices have skyrocketed, too.

So, if your existing AC uses Freon, you need to be on the lookout for potential leaks. Otherwise, you can end up with a massive bill to top up your unit’s Freon supply.

This guide rounds up the top ways to check for and determine refrigerant leaks, so be sure to read on.

Audible Cues

An AC refrigerant leak can be hard to spot, especially if the chemical is in gas form. However, this problem can produce audible cues, such as bubbling or hissing. Such noises result from the pressure forcing the gas out of a damaged refrigerant line.

So, if you hear such sounds when you’re near your air conditioner, call an AC repair company right away. It’s even more important if your unit still uses Freon, which can be toxic at high doses.

Gauge Your AC’s Cooling Power

The job of refrigerants is to absorb heat and moisture in the air. In doing so, they make it easier for the air conditioner’s cold evaporate coils to cool the air. Dry air, after all, takes less time to cool than air full of moisture.

As such, an AC unit leaking refrigerant can start to lose its cooling power. As a result, your room or home might not feel as cool and comfortable as it used to.

However, a clogged filter, dirty vents, or a faulty thermostat can also cause poor cooling. Similar problems can occur in your heating system, and they all boil down to a lack of HVAC maintenance.

So, before you ring up a pro, carry out AC maintenance first, such as checking and washing the air filter. Clean your vents too, and do the same to your outdoor AC unit, if you have one. Make sure your thermostat is set to your desired temperature setting, too.

If none of those work, then it’s time to schedule your air conditioner for servicing.

Watch Out for Mugginess

As the refrigerant in your AC absorbs moisture, the water vapors in the air condense. That means the vapors turn into physical water droplets. The condensation then drips into the drain pan or tray right below the air conditioner unit.

Thus, if your AC has refrigerant leaks, it won’t absorb as much moisture as it should. As a result, your indoor air may feel muggier or thicker than usual. Your air conditioner may also take longer to cool your room or home.

If you notice any of those symptoms, you likely have an AC refrigerant leak. In this case, it’s best to pick up the phone to call a local HVAC repair company right away.

Get Those Refrigerant Leaks Fixed ASAP

Since refrigerant leaks can make you sick, it’s vital not to delay getting these issues fixed. Moreover, exposure to high temperatures can result in heat-related illnesses.

Besides, your comfort will suffer if your AC doesn’t do its job. That’s why, as early as now, you should get your air conditioner inspected and its leaks repaired.

Interested in even more home, health, and lifestyle hacks? Please have a look at our latest informative blog posts then!