Freon is one of those things you often hear about when talking about air conditioners, but not everyone fully understands what it is. So before we give you an overview of the most commons signs that your AC is leaking freon, let’s start with the basics.
What is Freon?
Air conditioners work by absorbing the warm air from your home and cooling it down before releasing it back out through your vents. The unit is able to cool it down with a gas called refrigerant.
Most air conditioners that were manufactured before January 1, 2010 use a refrigerant known as R22, which is popularly known as Freon. However, after that date, the Environmental Protection Agency issued the Clean Air Act, which establishes that new AC units must use environmentally friendly refrigerant.
If you’re renting and aren’t sure when the air conditioner in your home was installed, you can verify which type of refrigerant it uses by checking the nameplate. If your unit does use Freon, and you suspect you have a refrigerant leak, you’ll have to call an HVAC professional to take care of it, since those same environmental regulations forbid the sale of R22 to anyone other than a certified technician.
Air Conditioner Freon Leak Signs
Ok. Now that we’ve covered Freon 101, we’re moving on to signs that your air conditioner may have a refrigerant leak. Among the most common, are the following:
1. The Air Conditioner Is Not Cooling
This factor alone could be due to reasons other than a leak. You could have dirty air filters or a clogged condensate drain line. But if you’re experiencing warm air coming out of your vents, together with any of the issues below, you may be dealing with a leak.
2. The Ac Is Hissing
Refrigerant is pressurized, so if there’s a pinhole or crack on your air conditioner, you might be able to hear a faint hissing as air comes out of the opening.
3. There’s Frost on the Condenser Unit
This is the part of the AC that sits outside your home. Check the coils on the side panels. If there’s frost on them, chances are you’re dealing with a refrigerant leak.
4. The Power Bill Is Going Up
An AC that’s working properly will shut off once your home reaches the temperature you set on the thermostat. If refrigerant is leaking, your AC will emit warm air, and the air conditioner won’t cycle off.
Air Conditioner Freon Leak Symptoms
There are more dangerous signs that point to a refrigerant leak, and these are felt by you or members of your family:
- Difficulty breathing
- Irritation of your eyes
- Sore throat
- Coughing fits
- Feeling like your skin is burning
- Asthma attacks if a family member suffers from asthma
The cause of these symptoms could be exposure to refrigerant, which could lead to refrigerant poisoning. So if any of the above symptoms ring a bell, seek medical attention immediately and have an HVAC technician come over for emergency repairs.
Reliable HVAC Services in Pinellas County or South Tampa
Freon leaks are serious business. If you suspect you have one, don’t wait. At Blair’s Air Conditioning and Heating, we provide 24/7 emergency AC repair in Pinellas County and South Tampa. We also provide regular maintenance. With practically a year-round summer in the Sunshine State, it’s a good idea to make sure your system will get you through the hottest months without a glitch.
Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule service.