Signs of an HVAC leak are not always as obvious as you think. A Freon leak, the coolant used in HVAC systems, can cause waste and even a dangerous environment. Freon, if consumed by people or animals, can be deadly (or even toxic to the touch). If you notice an obvious HVAC leak, do not try to clean it up yourself. Call local professionals who have the experience and tools necessary for a fast, safe cleanup followed by repairs.
Like most leaks, an HVAC leak begins small and can be next to impossible to notice. It is not unusual for a Freon leak in the house to occur for well over a year before the homeowner notices it. This is one of the reasons sticking with an annual or bi-annual HVAC maintenance check is so important. An expert can notice a leak well before the average homeowner can.
Here are some of the biggest red flags that point to a leak that homeowners can catch themselves:
1. Low Freon levels
Your HVAC can’t have less than 100 percent Freon levels — it needs to be full in order for an air conditioner to work. If any Freon is missing, your A/C is not working right and it’s pretty clear what the problem is. It is actually a good thing that 100 percent Freon is required, because dropping levels let you know right away that something is amiss.
2. Icy pipes
Take a look at the pipes outside your home. Is the evaporator coil covered in ice? If so, that’s a signal that Freon may be leaking. However, it’s not a sure thing. Another cause of this may be blocked air vents, but either way it’s something that needs addressing.
3. A subpar A/C performance
A tiny Freon leak may not be enough to shut off an A/C system entirely, but it will certainly cause poor performance. You may not even notice, since the A/C could get slowly worse over time. Homeowners who suspect their A/C unit isn’t delivering like it should need to call in the pros and ask about Freon levels.
4. You notice dark spots
A trained professional can often detect a leak by noticing dark spots of residue. The R22 systems, which use Freon mixed with oil, leaves a tell-tale grease spot when it’s leaking. It is easy for many homeowners to miss, but it stands out to a reputable technician.
Of course, the best way to guard against leaks is with frequent maintenance checks. Having an HVAC unit that isn’t holding up its end of the bargain isn’t what you want. Whether it’s time for your annual inspection or you suspect there’s a Freon leak in your HVAC system, call the professionals at Sandy Heating and Air Conditioning today.