AC Gas Leakage | Signs And Causes

Having the privilege to get some cool breeze during hot summers is a breath of fresh air. While most of us don’t want the creeping heat into our well air conditioned homes, we often notice unusual differences in the temperatures produced by the AC wherein it either gets too cold or too warm. This usually happens when there is Freon leak in your air conditioning machine. Also known as refrigerant, Freon works as the cooling agent for your AC by evacuating warm air from the system and relocating it outside. 

In common terms, this may also be referred to as air conditioner gas leak. A Freon leak is very obvious and can happen at any time. Therefore, let’s talk about the signs and causes of an AC gas leakage in details.

Dangers Of AC Gas Leaks

AC Gas Leakage | Signs And Causes 1

All AC units use CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) as coolants which upon leaking can easily penetrate through the soil, causing harm to several plants, animals, humans and microorganisms. In order to know more about the kind of dangers that an AC gas leakage can impose, let’s discuss about them elaborately.  

1. Hazardous To Human Health

An AC gas leak is harmful to human health and can commonly cause nausea and headache. Short term exposure to the gas can lead into causing skin cracks, reduced coordination, convulsions, tremors and increased heart rates, whereas long term exposure can cause unconsciousness, shortness of breath, skin cancer etc. Hence, a Freon leak can cause several critical health issues, if not taken proper care of.

2. Can Damage The AC

Gas leakage in AC is not only harmful but can also affect your air conditioning in a negative way, often paving the path to its damage. Also, it can put immense pressure on the compressor causing it to break. The cost of repairing or replacing a compressor is much higher than the cost of repairing AC gas leakage. 

Signs of AC Gas Leakage | AC Gas Leak Symptoms

Signs of AC Gas Leakage

A properly running air conditioning system maintains and circulates the same amount of refrigerant in the house. However, let’s take closer look at the most common AC gas leakage symptoms, and how to check gas leakage in split AC.

1. Loss Of Cooling Power

If your AC is taking longer to cool your home, it may be an indication of its depleted refrigerant levels. 

2. Hissing Sound

An AC gas leak can also be detected through the hissing sound that it makes sometimes which is often an indicator to a leak, among other issues, caused by holes or damage in the coils that circulate the cool air. 

3. Frozen Coils

It is important to note that whenever the refrigerate levels are insufficient circulating through the condenser coils, however, the coils will not be able to absorb heat adequately. Therefore, this can result in the coils to freeze and though the frozen condensation on the coil may not seem to be a big deal, it can cause water leakage in the ac and it can definitely lead to a system breakdown.

4. High Electricity Bills

ACs already make up for a larger portion of your electricity bills, despite having chosen an energy star certified model. AC gas leaks can sometimes easily become the main reason behind your increased electricity bills by significant amounts. According to the reports, a leaking air conditioning machine can consume more or less 20% more electricity.

Causes of Gas Leaks | AC Gas Leak Reason

Causes of Gas Leaks

The problem of air conditioner gas leakage not only imposes several issues such as declining health, rising electricity bills, etc but also negatively affects various life forms on earth. Let’s take a quick glance at all the things that are possibly responsible for the gas leak in order to understand how to better take care of it.

1. Corrosion

One of the common causes of air conditioner gas leakage is corrosion. The most common kind of corrosion, pitting corrosion, takes place due to constant exposure to fluorides and chlorides, present in water supplies and cleaning chemicals respectively. Similarly, formicary corrosion is another reason air conditioning leakage. 

2. Damage To Refrigerant Line

All AC units produce the cooling effect by moving refrigerant between the condenser coil outdoor and the evaporator coil indoor. There are refrigerant lines which do the job of moving the refrigerant, however, any mechanical damage made to then can also cause an AC gas leakage. 

3. Malfunctioning Schrader Valve

Schrader valve malfunctioning is yet another common cause for gas leakage. It usually happens when the seal covering the valve gets damages, causing the gas to leak.

4. Leaky Connection Around Control Valves

Often, leaky connection around the control valve can also become the principal reason for AC gas leakage. However, this situation can be avoided by double-checking for poorly attached valves and making sure that everything is thoroughly cleaned. 

5. Poorly soldered controls of fittings

Although soldering issues are not new in the industry, a cold joint caused by a poorly melted solder can often easily lead to air conditioning leaks. Similarly, an overheated joint can easily lead to a wrongly fixed joint which can in return cause gas to leak. 


Given all the causes and symptoms, it is important to keep in mind that an ac gas leakage is not something that can be ignored for too long. If you believe your AC is leaking Freon, do not hesitate to contact professionals right away. Avoid using your air conditioner for the time being and make sure to unplug it from the electricity source. If you’re early to report the problem and the damage is localized, you may be able to have it repaired entirely. If not, you might be better off replacing your older unit with a new economical air conditioner. To conclude, taking the necessary help from the right source at the right time can help you save yourself and your air conditioner from critical damage.

Samarth is a Mechanical engineer from IIT Bombay with deep understanding of machines and the overall market. Samarth has been building machine from over 8 years so all his reviews on November Culture are first hand expert review. He co founded November Culture along with few other industry experts to provide reviews of daily products.

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