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Does My System Suffer From Freon Leaks?

Freon, or refrigerant, is what helps keep our homes cool and refreshing amid the harsh, Southwest Florida heat. Some units, over time, experience a dip in the performance of their AC systems. While this could be several things, one issue to consider is Freon Leaks.

Freon leaks turn very serious over time and create over thousands in damages, resulting in either a very expensive repair or the purchase of a new AC unit. If caught in time, however, Freon leaks can be repaired. It is important to call an HVAC professional early if you suspect a Freon leak.

How Do I Know If I Have A Freon Leak?

Freon creates a distinct odor from the Air Handler while the unit is running. If you suspect a Freon leak, go to where your air handler is located and see if you detect any odd smells. If you do- do NOT further inspect or diagnose. Freon is highly toxic and can be fatal if inhaled. Call your local, certified HVAC company IMMEDIATELY.

What Do I Do If I Have A Freon Leak?
Freon Leaks
Sign of Freon Leaks in the Evaporator Coil

If you know you have a Freon leak, determining where the leak is and the severity of the leak is the next step. Call your local professionals and have a leak detection done. Leak detection is a two-part process:

  1. A device called a refrigerant sniffer (or electronic leak detector) checks if there is any refrigerant present outside of the system.
  2. Once the general area of the leak is identified, either a bubble test or a dye test is conducted to find the more exact location of the leak.

What is a bubble test? Technicians mix up some soap bubbles and run it along the components of the system to check for bubbles. This is often done in coordination with a nitrogen leak detector test, in which the technician replaces the refrigerant with nitrogen, allowing him to hear hissing from the leaks.

Dye tests involve adding ultraviolet dye to the system, which eventually seeps out of the holes. The technician then uses a black light to determine where the leaks are.

What Can Cause Freon Leaks In My System?

There are a few things that can cause a Freon leak in an AC system:

  • Improper installation
  • Damage
  • Erosion of metal over time due to corrosion
  • Factory defects

There is no way to know if your unit was improperly installed or has factory defects until after the unit is installed and charged, unfortunately. Most homeowners do not notice these things right away. However, while most units have warranties, many manufacturers will void the warranty unless a licensed professional repairs the system. So, make sure you call your local, licensed and certified professionals to assist you with your HVAC system.

BHS has a full team of licensed, insured, and certified HVAC professionals who are ready, willing, and able to assist you with any of your HVAC needs. Whether you suspect a Freon leak or are having other cooling issues, call us at 239 284-1472 or 813 862-2378 today! BHS is proud to service all of SW Florida, from the greater Bradenton area down to Marco Island– now including Arcadia, Ave Maria, and Lakewood Ranch!

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