How to Identify an AC Refrigerant Leak


Did you know that over 18% of the country dealt with record-high summer temperatures last year? With that kind of oppressive heat on the rise, you want a reliable air conditioner. That’s why you need to be able to spot common issues with your AC unit — and take action quickly.

Read on to learn how to identify an AC refrigerant leak!

Your AC Unit Won’t Blow Cool Air

Does the air coming out of your registers feel warm? If this issue persists despite a cool temperature reading on your thermostat, the issue may be tied to your AC unit’s refrigerant. In the same vein, longer cooling cycles can suggest that your system is trying to work harder.

Generally, warm air is a sign of your AC leaking refrigerant. That’s because refrigerant should be absorbing warm air and dispersing it outside. But if you don’t have enough refrigerant, that can’t happen.

The Air in Your Home Feels Humid

Your AC unit should be helping to remove humidity, too. Moisture condenses on the unit’s coils and is sent outside. But if you see condensation on your windows or it feels muggy, an AC leak could be to blame.

Wondering how to address an AC leak? Your best bet is to go with professional technicians at for help!

You Hear Hissing Noises

Unusual hissing noises can indicate it’s time for AC repair. The refrigerant inside your AC is a gas that is contained and under pressure.

So, if there is a hole anywhere in the coils or spaces housing the refrigerant, you’ll know it. This usually translates into a hissing noise as the pressurized gas finds its way through a small opening. While you can’t see the gas, you would be able to feel it if you detect the hole.

You See Frozen Evaporator Coils

Check your unit’s evaporator coils. If they’re frozen, you may have an AC refrigerant leak. Left untreated, you could end up replacing a compressor or another costly part.

When you have enough refrigerant circulating, the coils can absorb heat. But if you’re low on refrigerant, the AC system will start working too hard and leave condensation on the coils. And then the moisture will freeze — and it may even start dripping onto the floor.

Utility Bills Go Up

If you’re already on a tight budget, you’ll notice higher utility bills. That’s because refrigerant should be absorbing warm air — but it isn’t. If you don’t have enough refrigerant, this absorption process will take longer to happen.

Your AC unit won’t be as efficient, meaning you won’t be as comfortable. Consequently, you’ll notch down the thermostat and end up spending more.

Spot an AC Refrigerant Leak

An AC refrigerant leak can put stress on your unit and yield warm air. Listen for unusual noises coming from your AC unit, and watch for higher utility bills. And if the air feels humid in your home, you may need AC repair.

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