Signs Your A/C Unit is Leaking
Warmer Air Flow
Warmer air blowing from registers is a potential sign that your A/C unit may be leaking refrigerant. Without refrigerant flowing through the air conditioner coils, there is limited cooling of temperature within in the appliance. In turn, the airflow will not be as cool. If you suspect your A/C might be leaking, then place your hand over the register a few times to test the air temperature.
Hissing or Gurgling Sounds
A/C unit coils can crack over time, allowing refrigerant to leak from the unit. When the unit cycles through and leakage is occurring, you can often hear a hissing sound. If a larger leak is present, a gurgling sound is more common. Be sure to listen near the unit and not near the register when trying to diagnose a leak.
Higher Electricity Bills
Your electric bills are a direct representation of the efforts your appliances have to put forth to keep your home running. A leaking A/C unit causes the entire appliance to have to work harder and therefore, uses more electricity. Even if you have an auto-pay system set up for paying your electric bill, it is a good idea to monitor your monthly costs. Summer months are prime time for high bills and leaks; the temperatures are hotter and running your A/C is necessary.
Follow Your Nose
Leaking refrigerant from an A/C unit can cause a distinct scent. However, because everyone’s sense of smell is different, the leak is not always detectable. Some describe the refrigerant odor as smelling sweet, similar to mowed grass. Others describe it as smelling sterile, more like rubbing alcohol. If you suspect that an odor is coming from the refrigerant, check the area surrounding your A/C unit for a leak in addition to checking for other signs.