Refrigerant leaks increase energy usage and costs because your system can’t pull in enough cold air, and exposure to the fluid may cause poisoning if the leak is significant. These subtle leaks are common reasons for needing air conditioning repair. Fortunately, there are several ways AC technicians can detect the problem during annual servicing to prevent the issue from worsening.

How Does an AC Contractor Identify a Refrigerant Leak?

1. Dye Detection

Sometimes, technicians insert an ultraviolet dye into the system to identify leaks. After the dye has circulated, it glows fluorescent beneath a detection lamp, allowing them to see the places where holes are present. Although using the dye is safe and fast, it requires some special equipment.

2. Electronic Testing

air conditioning repairAn electronic leak detector is a tool many AC technicians use to run along the refrigeration components of units to detect coolant outside of the lines. When leaks are detected, an alarm sounds, pinpointing the location of the hole. While these devices are available to the public, they take training to use, and not all are compatible with every type of refrigerant.

3. Soap Testing

An AC contractor can also test for leaks by mixing soap with warm water and sending the mixture through the refrigerant system. Soap bubbles will be visible anywhere a leak exists, alerting the technician to which areas need air conditioning repairs. Don’t try this method yourself, as any contaminants in the mixture will cause corrosion in the AC system.


If you aren’t sure if you have a refrigerant leak, contact the team at Cool It Kauai Air Conditioning in Kapaa, HI. These professionals will perform tests to diagnose the issue and make any necessary air conditioning repairs. They’ll fix your unit so that it’s working at peak efficiency or recommend a replacement if needed. Call (808) 315-1888 to get more information about their services.