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!


14 Consecutive Months of Record Heat

Record Heat in Austin, Texas

Average sea surface temperature was also record high Persistent heat on land and in the sea this June shattered records, yet again

as reported in

June 2016 was 1.62 degrees F above the 20th century average, breaking last year’s record for the warmest June on record by 0.04 degrees F, according to scientists from NOAA’sNational Centers for Environmental Information. NOAA’s global temperature records dates back 137 years to 1880. For the year to date, the average global temperature was 1.89 degrees F above the 20th century average. This was the highest temperature for this period, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.36 degrees F.

• Some notable events around the world include:
• The globally averaged sea surface temperature was record high for June and the year-to-date (January–June).
• The globally averaged land temperature tied a record high for June, making it the 34th consecutive June with temperatures above the 20th century average. The year-to-date (January–June) average temperature was also record high.
• Much warmer-than-average temperatures contributed to North America’s warmest June since continental records began in 1910.
• Much warmer-than-average conditions engulfed most of Africa resulting in the second warmest June since 1910 for the continent.
• The average Arctic sea ice extent for June was 11.4 percent below the 1981–2010 average. This was the smallest June extent since records began in 1979.
• The average Antarctic sea ice extent for June was 40,000 square miles below the 1981–2010 average, marking the smallest June Antarctic sea ice extent since 2011 and the 13th smallest on record.

ac-today is one of the many expert resources that your team at A-Plus AC references to stay on the cutting edge in our industry (they also wrote this article, which can be viewed in its entirety here.