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What Causes Refrigerant Leak in AC? 4 Things to Know

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Refrigerant leaks are one of the most common problems when it comes to air conditioning units. If your AC unit is not cooling properly, you may be experiencing a refrigerant leak.

It’s important to understand what causes them so that you can take steps to prevent them from occurring in the future. This blog post will discuss what causes it, as well as other factors to consider when dealing with such issues.

We’ll look at recommended ductwork maintenance, proper installation and repair methods, and more. Ready? Let’s dive in!

What are the Symptoms of a Refrigerant Leak?

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There are a few key symptoms of a refrigerant leak in your AC unit. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to call a professional for help. Toronto furnace repair technicians can handle any air conditioning issues you may have. Some of the symptoms of a refrigerant leak include:

  1. Warm air coming from your vents: This is the most common symptom. If you notice that the air coming from your vents is warmer than usual, it’s likely because there’s not enough refrigerant in your unit to properly cool the air.
  2. Higher than normal energy bills: A leak can cause your AC unit to work harder than usual to cool your home, which can lead to higher energy bills.
  3. Hissing or bubbling sounds coming from your AC unit: These sounds are caused by escaping refrigerant and are a sure sign that you have a leak.
  4. Ice forming on your AC unit: This is another telltale sign. When there’s not enough refrigerant in the system, ice can form on the evaporator coils.

Why Does Refrigerant Leak from AC?

  1. The most common cause of a refrigerant leak is a faulty connection or seal. Over time, parts can wear out and lose their ability to keep refrigerant in the system.
  2. Another possible cause of a leak is debris or dirt accumulation in the evaporator coils, which can lead to cracks or holes.
  3. Damage to your AC unit due to improper installation or poor maintenance practices can also be a factor.
  4. In some cases, the problem may be caused by an automotive accident that involves damage to the condenser unit.

How to Prevent It?

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There are a few things you can do to prevent your AC from leaking refrigerant:

  1. Check for cracks or holes in the evaporator coils. These can be caused by corrosion, physical damage, or manufacturing defects. If you find any damage, replace the coils.
  2. Make sure the condensate drain pan is draining properly. A clogged drain pan can cause the evaporator coils to freeze, which can lead to a refrigerant leak.
  3. Inspect the air filter monthly and replace it as needed. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow, causing the evaporator coils to freeze and potentially leak refrigerant.
  4. Have your AC system serviced by a professional every year. They will check for any potential problems and perform preventive maintenance to help avoid future issues.


Refrigerant leaks in air conditioning systems can be a serious issue if left unchecked. It is important to understand what causes them and take action to remedy them when they occur.

Knowing the signs, symptoms, and possible causes of a refrigerant leak will help you identify when one may have occurred. Taking preventative measures such as regular maintenance, fixing any visible damages, and inspecting for potential problems will save time and money in the long run. If you suspect that your AC unit has a refrigerant leak, contact an experienced HVAC professional right away.