Signs Of A Refrigerant Leak In Your AC Unit

Air conditioners, like all appliances, can sometimes break down and require repairs. But when AC units experience problems, they don't often quit completely. Instead, they tend to keep cooling your home, but less efficiently and while displaying certain symptoms. One of the more common and serious issues that air conditioners experience is a refrigerant leak. This is when the coolant, the liquid that expands to generate the chill in the air, starts leaking out of the coil it is supposed to be contained in. So, how do you know if your AC unit has a refrigerant leak? Here are some key signs to take note of.

Short Cycling

Your air conditioner should go through a few cycles per hour when it's really hot outside. And when the temperature is more moderate, it may only cycle once an hour or less! If your air conditioner is cycling really often and the cycles are minutes long, that's a red flag. There are a number of problems that can cause this, including a clogged air filter. But if you replace your air filter and the short cycling keeps on, you probably have a refrigerant leak to contend with.

Failing to Reach Temperature

Often, an air conditioner with a refrigerant leak will keep blowing out cold air, but it will struggle to cool your home as much as you want. You may not realize this at first because your home still feels pretty comfortable. But if you look at your thermostat and realize your home is not reaching your selected temperature, that's something to note. For example, if you set your thermostat to 72 but your home only cools to 74, that's a sign of a refrigerant leak.

Colored Fluid Under the Coil

Look at the ground beneath your AC coil. Is there any fluid down there? If you do see fluid, dip a piece of white paper towel in it. If the fluid is colored, then you have a refrigerant leak. Depending on the age of your AC unit and the refrigerant it uses, the fluid may be blue-green, or it might be reddish. If the fluid is clear, it's likely just water, which is relatively normal and not a reason to worry.

Refrigerant leaks are frustrating, but rest assured that HVAC contractors know how to deal with this issue and make repairs. Contact an HVAC contractor near you to schedule AC repairs.