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How to Detect an AC Refrigerant Leak

How to Detect an AC Refrigerant Leak

On a hot summer day, you’ll be thankful for your air conditioning. But as soon as it stops working or struggles to cool your home, you’ll wish you took care of your unit sooner. So, if you’re noticing issues with your unit, such as an AC refrigerant leak, then it’s time to have it checked. Here’s how to detect an AC refrigerant leak and how you should respond to it. 

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Risks of an AC Refrigerant Leak

Refrigeration leaks are not something you can ignore. Refrigerant fluid is toxic to you and the environment. That’s why it’s so important to get your unit inspected for leaks and fixed. It’ll help you stay comfortable in your home or office and keep you protected from dangerous substances like refrigerants. 

Related: How to Unclog AC Drain Line

Causes of AC Unit Refrigerant Leak?


Within your HVAC system are metal components like copper tube walls that can become corroded. When this happens, it can cause cracks and holes to form, where fluid can leak. 

Weakened AC Joints or Connections

As with so many appliances, age and wear and tear can eventually cause joints and connections to erode forming an AC refrigerant leak. 

Improper Installation

When it comes to installation, if the job is not done right, you’re going to have problems sooner or later. That’s why you need to go with a company, like us, that you can trust to do the job properly the first time. Improper care and inexperience can be the root cause of any AC refrigerant leak.

Defective Parts

Occasionally, manufacturers will miss a defective part in a unit that isn’t detected until it’s causing you to stress. It’s important to have regular maintenance performed on your AC unit by certified HVAC professionals to check for any defective parts.

Technician Fixing AC Refrigerant Leak

3 Tips on Detecting an AC Unit Refrigerant Leak in Your Home

1. Soapy Water

To detect AC refrigerant leaks, technicians often add soapy water to your AC unit to detect leaks in your system. The idea is that bubbles will form wherever there is a leak. 

2. Electronic Detection

Using an electronic leak detector, our technicians can detect signs of an AC refrigerant leak on the exterior components of your unit. 

3. Ultraviolet (UV) Dye Testing

Our technicians can detect AC refrigerant leaks in your unit using ultraviolet dye. The fluorescent dye is sent through the system, and once it’s fully circulated, the technician will use a special lamp to find the leak location. 

What’s the Benefit of Knowing Where the Leak Is?

Knowing where the leak is located gives you the best chance to address it and make a decision on repairs or replacement. Some AC refrigerant leaks are more easily fixed than others—so it doesn’t hurt to know the origin of your unit’s leak. The best thing to do when you know you have a leak or even suspect a leak is to have a technician look at it. 

Related: Air Conditioning Repair in Bradenton, FL

Contact the Professional AC Technicians in Bradenton & Sarasota, FL

Elite Heating & Air has proudly served homes and businesses in Sarasota and Manatee counties for years. We offer a full range of air conditioning services including AC repair, replacement, installation, and more. We even provide heating and plumbing services!

Don’t wait for your HVAC system to show signs of trouble or breakdown. Contact us today to get ahead of issues or find solutions to your current ones. Call us at 1-941-377-6962 for fast, reliable 24 hour emergency AC services.