What Does a Freon Leak Look Like? The Things You Should Be Aware of

What is a leaky refrigerant, and what does a freon leak look like? If you have an AC system at home, you can always face freon leakage. Don’t underestimate such a leak because it can seriously affect everyone’s health at home while making the issue worse for the unit.

Importance of Refrigerant

Also known as freon or coolant, refrigerant is a crucial chemical compound that plays a huge part in the AC unit. It’s responsible for absorbing heat (from indoors) while expelling it outdoors. So, what does a refrigerant leak mean?

It means your AC’s ability to cool off the room would be hampered. When your AC can’t perform well, you may experience water dripping, the bills are getting higher, and you may notice some of these signs below.

what does a freon leak look like

The common signs that your AC is leaking freon are:

  • It’s somewhat blowing and producing warm air instead of cool air
  • In some cases, you may not feel any air coming from its vents
  • Your AC has been quiet and not making a sound.
  • Your bills are somewhat increasing.
  • The unit doesn’t make any sound during the cooling, but you somewhat hear a gurgling or even a hissing sound.

Are Refrigerant Leaks Dangerous?

Knowing what a freon leak looks like can be helpful because you can avoid further damage and more serious harm – not only to you and your loved ones but also to the surrounding environment.

Freon may not have any smell or taste, but its impact to the surroundings is huge. You see, freon is a type of potent greenhouse gas that is considered responsible for global warming. Even in its contained form, the gas can still cause harmful effects.

When leakage is possible, you let this harmful gas escape. Imagine how dangerous it is for Mother Earth.

Let’s not forget that a freon leak is also dangerous for humans because of its refrigerant poisoning. Mild symptoms may include coughing, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness. Irritation to the throat, ears, and eyes is also common. In severe cases, such a leak can result in consciousness loss, coma, seizures, and even death.

And most importantly, such a leak is seriously damaging the AC unit. When there is not enough freon in the system, the AC components suffer from excessive strains. Ultimately, your unit must work harder to achieve the desired temperature. It will definitely shorten your unit’s lifecycle.

What Color Is Freon When It Leaks?

Refrigerant is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Let’s not forget that it’s a type of gas. You can’t see the gas, right? However, some AC experts have advised the use of dye if you want to check on your own. You can mix some lubricants and dye, and then you can circulate it throughout the system.

In the event of a leak, you should be able to see a yellow-green color (from the dye). No need to worry, you should be able to spot it as it’s quite bright. You can also scan the system using a UV lamp or blue light. That’s how you can find the leak.

However, if you are completely clueless and you don’t know what to do, you can always ask for help. Contact a professional AC expert and let them do everything: the check, the repair, and the re-check. Don’t do it on your own when you don’t have experience with this matter.


Do something fast if you suspect anything is wrong with your AC system. Knowing what does a freon leak look like is handy because you can be prepared of what to expect.

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AirconMag is an experienced author and Air Conditioner expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of AC unit, including installation, maintenance, and repair