Do I Have a Refrigerant Leak in My AC?

As AC repair service providers in Austin, we often receive calls about refrigerant leaks. A common question we receive is, “Do I Have a Refrigerant Leak in My AC?”
Refrigerant (Freon or R-22, Puron or R-410A) is a vital component to your HVAC system. Without refrigerant, your AC would not be able to remove the heat from your home or cool it. When your aging Austin AC system is low on Freon, your AC will not function at its peak.

How to Tell If an AC is Low on Refrigerantpicture of frozen AC Unit

You can easily identify if your AC is low on refrigerant by looking for these indicators.

  1. It takes longer than normal for your home to cool off – Low refrigerant causes your AC to work overtime. You can experience high indoor temperatures, and your thermostat may not reach the temperature it is set for.
  2. Your electric bills are higher than normal – Comparing your City of Austin electric bills month-to-month or even year-to-year can help identify unseen issues with your HVAC unit if there is a sudden spike in energy usage or a dramatic increase in your bill.
  3. Vents are not blowing cool air – Warm air blowing out of your vents can indicate a handful of different issues, including an AC that has low refrigerant.
  4. Ice on the refrigerant lines – If you suspect your HVAC unit is low on Freon, look for ice acclamation on your copper refrigerant lines as an indicator.
  5. Water leaking around your indoor unit – Ice on your copper lines will eventually melt. If there is water that has pooled up near the bottom of the furnace it is a good indication that your HVAC unit had frozen up.
  6. Hissing or bubbling noises – If your unit starts making hissing or bubbling noises, it could be evidence of a larger AC refrigerant leak.

If you suspect AC repair issue, be proactive, and call a trusted air conditioning repair service to accurately diagnose the issue.

How Do Austin AC Technicians Find Refrigerant Leaks? 

Our skilled HVAC techs always check pressures on your unit during an air conditioning repair service in Austin.  This is the most accurate way to find out if your system has a Freon leak.  Finding the leak is the next step.  There are three methods our AC repair techs have been trained to use in order to find a leak:

  • Visual detection – When refrigerant leaks, it leaves a residue of oil film from the compressor at the discharge location.
  • Perform a soap test – Spray a combination of water and soap to the suspected leak point. If there is indeed a refrigerant leak in your AC system, the soapy water will bubble.  This method is not the most effective, especially when small leaks are present.
  • Electronic detector – This electronic refrigerant detector, often called a “Sniffer” emits a sound and/or a visual indication when the device detects a leak. This is the industry standard and most reliable leak detector technique.


Picture of Vans owned by A Plus Austin TexasRefrigerant Leak Repair

Our AC techs are ready for repairs 365 days a year.  We give our customers the best repair options for each Austin AC repair situation.  Keep in mind that some refrigerant leaks are so small they may be hard to identify.  Some leaks may be too large to repair as well, or in a very difficult spot to access, and a repair is not possible.  With the phase out of R-22 Freon, your AC system may not even be a good candidate for repair, and replacement should be considered.

Even though fall is here, there is still plenty of time for your AC to give you a headache.  If you suspect your AC is low on refrigerant or not cooling properly, give our office in Austin a call at 512-450-1980 to schedule an appointment.  We will get you cool quick!