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How to Spot a Freon Leak in Your Home AC Unit

Posted - 03/29/2012

Your air conditioning system relies on a gas known as freon to provide adequate cooling. Freon is a refrigerant that draws moisture out of the air. When a leak develops in the tubes holding this gas, your air conditioner quickly loses cooling capability. You must hire a professional to refill the freon, but determining if a leak exists can help you decide if you need air conditioning service or not. Start by looking for visible cracks or punctures in the cooling lines. This requires you to use your owner's manual to determine which lines contain the freon.

An oily, dark colored residue on the outside of these lines is another common sign of a leak. If you can't find any obvious openings, mix up a small amount of dish soap in a bowl of water. Dripping this mixture over the refrigerant lines will show leaks in the form of bubbles. Disconnect the air conditioning unit from the main power line before doing this. Technicians from a professional heating and air conditioning company have a number of high tech devices to help them detect freon leaks. If you can't tell if freon is leaking or not, contact a company for a quick test.
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