Freon is the gas that helps your air conditioner keep you home cool. If it begins to leak, it can run out, leaving you in a hot house. Freon leaks can be sneaky – they start small and often remain unnoticed until the air conditioner stops cooling. However, if you can catch it early, you can have your HVAC repair company fix it before your air conditioner stops working. Keep your eye out for these signs of a Freon leak.
Ice on the Pipes
When you walk around the outside of your house, do you notice ice on the pipes leading from the outdoor component of your air conditioner into the house? How about on the air conditioner's condenser coil? This ice may be a sign of a Freon leak.
Before you jump to conclusions, check to be sure that air vents and returns are clean and not blocked by anything – this can also cause ice to form. If you're still finding icy pipes and coils after cleaning the vents and removing any obstructions, it's likely that your Freon is leaking.
In some air conditioning systems, oil is mixed with Freon, so when the Freon leaks, the oil does as well. If you're familiar with the look of an oil stain on the driveway, you can recognize these small stains near the leak sites. You're most likely to see these stains near the coil. However, keep in mind that Freon leaks are usually quite small, and not all systems will show an oil leak. If you see other signs that the Freon is leaking but can't find an oil stain, don't count out the possibility of a Freon leak
Often the most definitive sign of a Freon leak that homeowners can detect is a decline in your air conditioner's ability to cool. Because the leak is gradual, you'll see reduced function long before the air conditioner completely stops cooling.
Maybe the living room is as cool as usual, but the back bedroom is uncomfortably hot this summer, even though the air conditioner cooled it well last year. Or perhaps your electric bill is unusually high, even though the house doesn't seem to ever reach the temperature you set the thermostat at. Often, homeowners mistakenly chalk these symptoms up to an aging system when it's really a Freon leak that can be repaired without replacing the whole system.
If you have reason to suspect a Freon leak, give an air conditioning repair company, like Air Pro Heating & Air, a call. An inspection from a trained professional can quickly determine whether or not you have a leak.