How do you know if you have a Freon leak?

Well, it is the hottest day in the whole year and the air conditioner struggling so hard in providing cooling to the house. If you feel that your air conditioner not providing cooling to the house. Then, there’s a chance of Freon leak.

freon leak

Other sign is that if you notice any weird sound like hissing sound or formation of ice on evaporator coils then, the issue is Freon-leakage in the air conditioner.

Freon leak is not inevitable because Freon leak usually forms due to defective parts or due to damaged part or happens in old equipment.

Freon leak happens in such Air conditioner who is working with damaged parts or the compressor is over pressurized. Repair all such damaged parts from where Freon is leaking and recharge Freon gas in your air conditioner in order to recover the air conditioner.

Never ever leave the Freon leak unchecked, because it’s very dangerous for your health and for the performance of the air conditioner.

What is Freon leak?

Freon basically is a trademark-name by the DuPont, it’s a colorless gas which is used to cool the warm air and act as refrigerant in the air conditioner. It’s a hydro chlorofluorocarbon which is used few AC’s, Freezers and in dehumidifiers.

Freon-22 is the common type of Freon in the modern houses and its generic name is R-22.

According to Environmental-Protection Agency, Freon is harmful gas because its having an ozone depleting substance and phased out from the Clean-Air-Act.

In the phase-out, the R-410A refrigerant blend is included and other blend like HCFC-22 is also included. So, EPA create a schedule just to phase out such Freon and similar gas which is harmful for our environment.

freon leakage issue

If your system manufactured after 2005 then these systems are not consuming Freon. Law prohibits from using Freon in that systems which is manufactured after 2010. After 2020, Freon in not manufactured and imported in the United States but Freon is available for the old systems. But you know as the supply of Freon dwindles, So the cost of Freon increases.

If your AC was manufactured in 2011 than it means that it uses other type of refrigerant instead of Freon.

Apart from refrigerant. You have to know that, if you are using any type of refrigerant then it there might be few chances that you will not face the problem of refrigerant leakage in future. So, the signs of refrigerant leakage and its causes are same irrespective of what type of refrigerant you are using.

If you don’t know or wanted to know that what type of refrigerant your system is using, then this information is labeled on the unit label. If you find R-22 is written on the label, then it means system is using Freon on the other side if you R-410A or R132 is written on the label then it is using other type of refrigerant instead of Freon.

Signs of the Freon leak:

Well, air conditioners required a specific amount of the refrigerant in order to function properly. If the refrigerant amount increases or decreases its directly affects the function of air conditioner.

Basically, refrigerant will not be finished over time even in the result of its usage. Normally, low level of the refrigerant indicate that your AC refrigerant is leaking or it’s not filled properly when serviced.

So here are 5 signs of the Freon-leakage:

  • Lack of airflow.
  • Build-up of ice.
  • Hissing Sound.
  • Major increase in energy bills.
  • Warm air.

Lack of air flow:

Basically, air conditioner is using refrigerant in order to provide cooling to your house means cool all the air which is present in the house. So, the cold air is now blown with the help of vents and the ducts. Your air conditioner cannot operate as intended if refrigerant has leaked. Few signs are that it’s take so much time to provide cooling to the house and the less cold air is coming from the vents and ducts.

lack of air flow

Build-up of ice:

If the AC is freezing up, then this issue indicating towards the Freon leak. Basically, refrigerant is used to circulate through AC evaporator coils in order to remove humidity and heat from your house air. Condensation forms when warm and cold air meets on the evaporator coils. Normally, such condensation evaporates and large amount of water goes in the drain pan. but, many house owners faces water leakage in air conditioners.

If the amount of refrigerant is not accurate. Then, such evaporator coils are unable to absorb all the heat and in result all the condensation starts freezing.

ice formation due to freon leak

Hissing Sounds:

Hissing sound are produced at that time when your AC compressor is over pressurized. If there’s any Freon leak or any type of refrigerant leakage, then a hissing sound is produced which you can listen very easily. The Hissing sound is exactly similar like the hissing sound is coming from the popped or punctured tire. Hissing and other weird sound through which your ac making noises indicated that there is a Freon leak or any type of refrigerant leakage problem.

hissing sound

Significant rise in the energy costs:

During the typical cooling season. Your thermostat turns of the system when your house temperature reached to the desired temperature. But when there’s a Freon leak or any type of refrigerant leakage in the air conditioner. Then, in this condition your system tries hard in order to provide cooling to the house but it can’t reach to the desired level of temperature. So, by continuously running of the system. You will see a major increase in the energy bills.

energy cost

Warm air:

Well, air conditioners are not able to produce cooled air. They actually use the warm air which usually passes from the air evaporator coils which is filled with refrigerant and here it absorbs all the humidity and heat from your house warm air. So in result, warm air is turned into a cooled air and start distributing to your house through the vents/ducts. All this process going on in the indoor unit.

When the refrigerant is not in the specific amount or any refrigerant leakage in your air conditioner then, refrigerant is unable to absorb all the heat from the warm air. So in result all the hot air blown back towards the house through ducts/vents.

Remember that lack in the flow of air or warm air indicates that there many other issues like air filters are covered with dirt and debris or the clogged-condensate line. So, you have to know that how often to change air filters of your air conditioners.

warm air

Is Freon leak being dangerous for the house:

Well, Freon-leakage is not dangerous for the house. Due to exposure of Freon, it causes mild or it causes no symptoms and there will be no effect in long term. Basically, Freon dissipate in the air quickly. So, if you are not sitting near the Freon leak for longer period of time then, it’s very unlikely to have such symptoms.

Usually, Freon-leakages happens in the outdoor but the leakage can also have occurred indoor. Freon is very heavier than the air and sink down to the level of ground. So that’s why children’s and the pets easily get the symptoms of Freon-leakages.

If you find the leakage in the house, immediately open the house windows also turn on the fans for the ventilation and contact with HVAC professional quickly.

Symptoms of the Freon poisoning:

There are very less chances of incurring of the Freon poisoning from the Freon-leakage in the house. Freon poisoning only happens when you are inhaling this gas intentionally or the leakage occur in the small area where ventilation is not possible. If you are sitting near the Freon-leakage for the longer period of time, then you get such symptoms. Such symptoms dissipate when you moved away from the leakage.



  • Seizures.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Confusion.
  • Difficulties in the breathing.
  • Coma.
  • Fluid and blood in lungs.
  • Sudden death.
  • Blood comes with vomiting.
  • Irregular heartbeats.

Severe symptoms:

  • Seizures.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Confusion.
  • Difficulties in the breathing.
  • Coma.
  • Fluid and blood in lungs.
  • Sudden death.
  • Blood comes with vomiting.
  • Irregular heartbeats.

Refrigerant leakage occurs usually at Schrader valve, evaporator coils, valve cores, copper-lines, U connectors, electrical connection in the body of compressor and in the weld joints. Leakage mostly occur in your AC evaporator coils especially where metal is weak and stressed, like such parts U and weld joints also other parts which receives many vibrations.

Causes of the Freon-leakage:

Freon leak usually happens at that when the air conditioners age increases and the parts of AC become damaged or broken. Leaks also occur due to improper installation, mechanical defects or due to human errors.

Causes of the refrigerant leakage:

  • Excessive vibrations.
  • Factory defects.
  • Improper installation.
  • Wear and tear.
  • Corrosion.

Excessive Vibrations:

Basically, isolation inhibitors reduce the vibration in the air conditioners. If such isolation inhibitors are broken or defective, then your air conditioner vibrate excessively. So, in result to these vibrations the refrigerant line become leak or cracked.

excessive vibrations

Improper installation:

Excessive amount of vibration happens in the air conditioners due to the improper installation. Such vibrations crack your refrigerant lines which cause leakage.

Factory defects:

Sometimes the air conditioners come defective from the factory. If your purchase the system and it’s not performing its functions properly. Then, it’s the cause of factor defect.

Wear and tear:

As time passes, the air conditioner unit becomes damaged. If your unit is old and not performing its functions regularly. Then, here regular wear and tear possibly the main culprit.


Sometimes the Corrosion of copper lines occur in your air conditioner unit. So, such corrosion happens due to chemical reaction which result in corrosive chemical like formaldehyde. Deterioration sometimes also caused due to chloride and fluoride or due to the dog urine.

What you have to do if you find a Freon-leakage:

Schedule maintenance of air conditioner helps you in finding the Freon-leakage. Because if you leave this leakage unchecked, it’s very problematic issue. If you find the Freon-leakage, then contact with the professional HVAC technician for complete inspection.

So, the professional technician repairs all the leakage and recharge Freon in your air conditioning unit. Freon is purchased by only certified technicians. I recommend you, repairing of Freon-leakage is not such type of task which you can easily done by yourself.


Basically, air conditioners use the Freon and other type of refrigerant in order to cool the house hot air. Occasionally, leakage of refrigerant occurs. If you air conditioner is not performing its task properly then it means refrigerant is leaking. But you also find other signs as well like ice formation on the evaporator coils or hissing Sounds are coming from the unit. Leaks happens only when the age of your unit increases and your AC parts become damaged or broken.

If you find the refrigerant leakage then immediately, turn off the system and turn on all the fans for the ventilation. Contact with the professional technician. The chances of Freon poisoning are very low but if you leave such issue unchecked then it will damage your air conditioner and increase your energy bills. Only certified technician can handle the refrigerant leakage and repair all the leaks accurately.

If you want more information about HVAC systems. then, here are some articles mentioned through which you will get more knowledge about the systems.

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