How to Fix Your Air Conditioner Leak


Have you been told that you have an air conditioner leak but because of the high costs of having it fixed you’ve decided to just fill it with Freon yearly?

Living with a leaking air conditioner can not only run up your electric bills … but you will run the risk of a huge repair bill down the road. A system running low on Freon will run more frequently and for longer periods of time.

Unlike a car in which you can run low on gas and still gain the same performance … Freon must be full or your A/C system will not cool as effectively. Freon is not consumed by running your system. Freon is not an additive that is burned up, or altered in a normal operating air conditioner. Your air conditioner is designed to flow the Freon through the pipes and tubes until it is recovered by an EPA certified technician.

So how does your Freon level go down? It leaks out. So the question is, how does it leak out? There are several possibilities for leaks.

First is a manufacturer’s defect- In most cases, the manufacturer has used humans and machines to put the system together. And with all humans and machines, they make mistakes sometimes. A weld may be incomplete, a joint not correctly aligned, or a seal was not installed properly. Typically a manufacturing defect that causes a leak will show up in the first years of service.

Solution- The early leaks due to manufacturing defects should be repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty. Have an experienced technician find the leak, isolate the component then replace the component under the manufacturer’s warranty

Wear and Tear – Another source of leaks may be wear and tear of the system. The service valves have rubber seals around the valve stems that can wear over time and leak. The outside system can rust and spring a leak at some of the assembly joints. These types of leaks would normally not show during the first years of service and would only show up later in the life of the system. Some of these repairs are easy and only require the technician to replace a part. Others require a major repair such is the case of rusted out parts.

Solution Rust or wear and tear leaks can be sealed, repaired, or replaced depending on the type and location of the leak. Ignoring a constant leak will create more wear on the major components. These types of leaks can be very expensive to correct.

Pin Hole Leak – Another more common type of leak is a pin hole leak caused by naturally forming, “Formic” acid in the home that eats away at the copper tubing. These leaks will not show up except in the later years of a system. Once one shows up, more would soon follow in other areas of the copper tubes and components of the system that could result in an expensive repair or replacement. Formic acid is formed on the coils by the Formaldehyde that is found in many home building products. When Formaldehyde builds up on the copper tubing, Formic acid can develop and this acid will create pin-hole leaks in the copper tubing. Manufacturers have recently switched to all aluminum for their new and replacement coils that are not susceptible to formicary corrosion.

Solution- Alexander Heating Air Conditioning and Plumbing has a special leak seal technique that is effective and affordable to take care of the leak. Call us for special pricing at (919) 886-HVAC.


If you’re living with a leak, you’re not saving money. You can expect higher energy bills in the long run. A severely low system can freeze up causing major damage to your system and resulting in an expensive replacement or repair.  Leaks can also prevent you from ever cooling down your home to the desired setting.


Call Alexander Heating and Air Conditioning to check out your system today. We will examine your system, bring it back to the best working performance or offer you alternatives that will meet your budget. (919) 886-HVAC


Call us today for our $472.00 Leak Seal Treatment.


About Author

Frank Alexander is an experienced engineering professional who holds a Master of Engineering degree from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina.

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