How To Check For Freon Leak In Home AC – A Guide For Homeowners!

Keeping cool during the summer requires keeping your AC unit in good shape and well maintained. However, a Freon refrigerant leak could cause your air conditioner to eventually stop cooling efficiently. We scoured the internet for information on what you should do to check for a Freon leak in your home's air conditioning unit, and here's the solution.

Since it is too dangerous to detect a leak in the Freon refrigerant in the AC unit by yourself, call for an expert's help. Here are some methods they do to check if there is a Freon leak in the AC unit. 

  • Electronic leak detectors.
  • Using injected ultraviolet (UV) dye.
  • Soap solution spray.
  • Fluorescent micro leak detector spray.

Now that you know how professionals detect Freon leaks in the AC unit, you might want to expand your horizons with the information below. Keep on reading to learn more about your AC unit.

Air condition unit refrigerant fluid leaking with with white fome freon chemical, How To Check For Freon Leak In Home AC - A Guide For Homeowners!

Methods Professionals Use To Detect Freon Leaks 

Even with regular maintenance, refrigerant leaks can still appear in the system. Here are a few methods experts may use to find leaks in your system.

Electronic Leak Detectors

The sensor for electronic leak detection is sensitive to sounds coming from a system of pipes. A sound is transmitted to the security system at a greater frequency if it registers on the device.

The amplified leak is then discovered and can be fixed immediately after detecting it.

Ultraviolet (UV) Dye

This involves injecting a minimal amount of fluorescent dye into the operating system and circulating it there. All leak points will experience an accumulation of the dye/refrigerant mixture.

After that, all leaks will fluoresce green or yellow, making them simple to detect when scanning the system with a leak detection lamp.

Soap Solution Spray

To check if your refrigerator is leaking Freon, you can distribute regular dish soap on the tubing by combining it with a tiny amount of water. You can also put it in a spray bottle and apply it that way.

Once the gas leaks, it will flow through a thin layer of soap, producing tiny bubbles that form during this process. To detect a leak, look for bubbles that are constantly forming.

Fluorescent Micro Leak Detector Spray

An external fluorescent spray is another leak-detection tool that produces bubbles when sprayed against leaks.

Apply it to the suspected leak site and illuminate it with a UV light. It will expand and form a substantial fluorescent bubble at the hole's location if there is a leak in the component.

Common Causes of Freon Leaks

Freon leaks are quite common but not always easy to detect. They have a significant impact on an HVAC system's performance.

House comfort worsens when leaks occur. Furthermore, if the leak is not repaired right away, severe health issues may develop. The common Freon leaks you need to be aware of are listed below.

Metal Corroding

Metal Corroding - old rusted steel - rusty metal texture rust texture

An AC unit may have serious complications as a result of corrosion. For instance, it makes small holes that let the Freon leak.

Since outdoor air conditioners are common, corrosion and other weather-related problems are much more probable.

Moreover, formic acid corrodes copper pipes. Call a professional for AC repair as soon as you detect copper coil corrosion. You may need to replace the air conditioning unit if the problem worsens.

Factory Defects

If your new unit has factory defects, you'll have to replace it. This is why having a home appliance warranty is essential. An air conditioner that is broken can be fixed or replaced with the help of a warranty.

Wear And Tear

Wear And Tear - Air conditioning unit outside of red brick building

Older units frequently show signs of wear and tear. A refrigerant leak may occur from the rubber seals on the valve stems of the air conditioning unit wearing down over time.

Improper Installation Of Freon  

Improper Installation Of Freon

The improper installation of specific AC unit parts might lead to refrigerant leakage. For instance, overtightening the flare connections is a common reason for a leak.

You should only let licensed professionals install your AC unit to prevent a Freon leak. Here are some warning signs to look out for if you suspect improper installation tend to involve:

  • The thermostat is improperly installed or is not functioning properly.
  • Indoor air quality is poor.
  • Your system is blowing warm air.
  • Increased electricity bills.
  • Poor heating.

If you detect any of these signs, you should have your system inspected by a local air conditioning repair agency. Depending on how serious the issue is, you might want to consider replacing your unit.

Signs Of Freon Leak

It's critical to be aware of the warning signs that your air conditioner is leaking Freon to keep your family secure and comfortable at home. Here are signs of how to detect Freon leaks in your air conditioner.

Increased Electricity Bills

An increase in your electric bill can result from poorly functioning air conditioners. Your air conditioner works harder than it should when your cooling system is malfunctioning or leaking which increases your electricity bill.

Longer Cooling Periods

The refrigerant's purpose is to absorb the heat from within your home and release it outside.

However, the refrigerant levels will drop when an air conditioner refrigerant leak starts to develop. As a result, your unit will function longer and require more effort than usual.

Water Leaks

Water leaking from the air conditioner drips from the cooler.

If the refrigerant level in your air conditioner is too low, pressure will begin to decrease in the unit. This may result in frozen coils. When they defrost, the water may overflow the drain pan, releasing a lot of water.

Hissing Noises

Hissing noises are typically brought on by holes or cracks in the coils that pump the refrigerant. Your air conditioner may produce a louder, gurgling sound if the refrigerant leaks through a relatively large hole.

Freezing Evaporator Coil 

Ice building up on your evaporator coils clearly shows a refrigerant leak in the air conditioner. The evaporator coils will fail to absorb heat if insufficient refrigerant runs through them, resulting in condensation on the coils freezing.

Even though the presence of ice on the evaporator coil might not appear alarming, it could lead to a complete system failure and costly repairs.

Dangers Of Freon Leaks

Due to refrigerant leakage, your system might not cool as efficiently as it should. Your system might have trouble producing sufficient air conditioning to keep your home from reaching the desired temperature.

This can increase your monthly energy costs and make your system work even harder. Refrigerant leaks can also be dangerous to the environment and your health.

Freon or refrigerant includes substances that can enter your lungs and influence air quality. This can have a serious impact on your environment and health.

This can cause refrigerant poisoning, resulting in coughing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and skin and eye irritation.

Untreated poisoning can result in several life-threatening conditions, including the following:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Abnormal heartbeat.
  • Fluid accumulation in the lungs.
  • Confusion and mental fatigue.
  • Losing consciousness.
  • Seizures.

Products For Detecting Freon Leaks

There are some products that you'll need on hand in an emergency if you have an AC unit at home, particularly if there is a Freon leak. These are a few items that you might want to purchase.

Elitech HVAC Refrigerant Leak Detector

Elitech independently developed the most recent infrared sensor, significantly extending the sensor's life by up to 10 years.

This detector provides clearer readings on sensitivity levels, leakage alerts, battery life, and other crucial information while it works.

Check out this Elitech HVAC Refrigerant Leak Detector on Amazon.

Aprvtio Refrigerant Leak Detector

The Aprvtio Refrigerant Leak Detector includes a UV lamp with a fluorescent agent and a white flashlight. White light is effective at illuminating tight spaces and dark areas. It has an improved LCD screen with several alarm functions.

The sensitivity level and refrigerant gas leakage level can be seen with this device. You may quickly find the leakage using the leakage tester's audible and visual display alarms.


Check out this Aprvtio Refrigerant Leak Detector on Amazon.

ALLTECH Freon Refrigerant Halogen AC Leak Detector 

This device has a two-mode spotlight that allows you to work in low-light settings. It has a double battery indicator, a visible and audible gas leakage indicator, more reliable performance, and better battery life.

Check out this ALLTECH Freon Refrigerant Halogen AC Leak Detector on Amazon.

Do You Notice a Freon Smell in Your Home?

In an AC unit, Freon typically moves through tightly closed copper coils. However, these coils are vulnerable to cracking, which can cause an AC coolant leak. A Freon leak will have a smell similar to that of sweet chloroform. 

In Closing

Taking care of your safety while checking for a Freon leak should be your number-one priority.

Ask for assistance, especially if you're not skilled at doing things like detecting a refrigerant leak. It can be very dangerous to take action immediately. So instead, let a professional do it.

Check out some additional articles that may be of interest to you before you leave:

What Type Of Freon For A Coleman RV Air Conditioner?

How To Know If Car Air Conditioner Needs Freon?

AC Vs DC Air Conditioner: Which To Choose?

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