How to Tell if Your AC Has a Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner has a substance called a refrigerant, which serves as the system’s “blood”. It is an integral component of the unit, playing an important role in the cooling process. Unfortunately, prevailing issues from within the equipment can cause it to leak out, leading to extensive damage and inadequate cooling if not addressed properly.


As the trusted heating and air conditioning expert in the Bay Area, we know fully well the impact of a refrigerant leak on ACs. Whenever we diagnose this problem, we make sure to take note of the following signs:

Insufficient Cooling

The refrigerant moves through the AC’s evaporator and condenser coils, changing from gas to liquid and vice versa as it absorbs heat from the indoors and expels it outdoors. This happens on a continuous loop, resulting in a cool indoor environment. However, depleted levels of refrigerant as a result of leak makes it difficult for the system to function well. A technician will check the thermostat to determine if the ambient temperature matches the reading on the screen or not.

Frozen Coils

A refrigerant leak prevents the evaporator coil from absorbing enough indoor heat. As a result, the condensation collecting on the condenser coil freezes. It is a problem that requires the immediate attention of an expert HVAC service technician.

Strange Noises

HVAC technicians look for peculiar sounds inside the AC while it is turned on. A hissing sound may indicate a leak, though it may also point to an entirely different issue. A gurgling noise, however, means that there’s a large refrigerant leak that needs to be patched up, and fast!

Get in Touch With Us!

Whenever you think something may be wrong with your system, the heating and cooling experts at Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning can handle all of your needs during a scheduled service call. Don’t wait until your AC no longer provides enough cool air because of a potential refrigerant leak. Get in touch with us right away by calling (415) 522-0966 or filling out our contact form. We serve homeowners in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area.

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