How Do I Know If My Air Conditioner Has A Coolant Leak?

An AC repair technician inspecting an HVAC unit for a coolant leak

One important part of any air conditioner system is the coolant located inside the unit.  Sometimes, an air conditioning unit develops a coolant leak.  Over time, these leaks can lower the effectiveness of your air conditioner.  They can also cause your air conditioner to develop other mechanical problems.     

 

Here are some of the signs of a coolant leak and what to do if you think you have one:

What is Coolant?

Coolant is a compound in every air conditioner unit.  Depending on the temperature, a coolant may be a liquid or a gas.  The coolant is used to absorb heat and helps create cold air that is later blown into your house. 

Normally, an air conditioner does not run out of coolant.  Coolant is contained in a closed system.  After coolant is used to create cool air, it is recharged and then used again.  In most cases, the initial charge of coolant to your air conditioner should last throughout your air conditioner's lifetime.   

Coolants need to be properly handled.  While coolants have been developed that are less harmful to the environment, they still have a negative environmental impact if released into the air.  In addition, exposure to coolant can be harmful.  Fumes from coolant are dangerous to inhale and the chemical can cause skin irritation and frostbite when handled.  As a result, handling coolants should be left to trained and experienced professionals.      

What Are the Signs of a Coolant Leak?

Coolant leaks usually develop over time.  Due to worn hoses or other parts, small coolant leaks can become bigger ones.  Damage to your air conditioner can also lead to a coolant leak.  There are several signs that you may have a coolant leak. 

  • Your air conditioner is working less efficiently.  This means your house takes longer to cool down or you have higher energy bills.
  • Less cold air is coming from your vents. Coolant leaks oftentimes lead to less cold air.  In some cases, you may have warm air coming from your vents.  
  • Noises coming from your air conditioner unit.  If you hear hissing or bubbling coming from your air conditioner, you may have a leak.
  • Frozen coils or lines: when there isn't enough coolant, the air conditioner coils will not adequately absorb heat and any condensation on the coils or lines will freeze. 

What Should I Do If I Think I Have a Coolant Leak?  

You may not notice the signs of a coolant leak immediately but over time.  If you suspect a coolant leak, you should immediately take the following steps: 

  • Turn off your air conditioner. Air conditioners are designed to use a certain amount of coolant.  The more that an air conditioner runs with a low coolant level, the higher the chance that the system could be damaged. 
  • Have your air conditioner inspected by a professional AC Contractor in Port St. Lucie or Martin County as soon as possible. An inspection will figure out if you have a coolant leak and will make any necessary repairs to your unit.  This may include finding and repairing any holes in your air conditioner unit, replacing hoses and gaskets, or replacing the air conditioner's coils. 

While it is frustrating to find a coolant leak, it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.  An air conditioner with a coolant leak won't cool down your house and running it will only cause further damage.  

Need to Get Your Air Conditioner Repaired? Contact Us Today!

If you think your air conditioner might have a coolant leak or has other issues, contact us today!  Our experienced technicians will quickly fix the problem and help you keep your air conditioner running all summer long.  We service air conditioners in the Port St. Lucia area and can make any repair your air conditioner needs quickly and efficiently.