How much does an AC Freon leak repair cost?
$200 – $1,500 average Freon leak repair cost
AC leak repair cost
AC leak repair costs $200 to $1,500 on average to find and fix the leak and refill the Freon. Costs depend on the HVAC location, severity, leak test method, refrigerant prices, and replacement parts. An AC leak test costs $100 to $330 for detection only.
Leaks in the refrigerant line cost the least to repair. Leaks in the evaporator coil or compressor are the most expensive to repair. AC water leak repairs cost $75 to $600.
|AC Freon or refrigerant leak repair
|$200 – $1,500
|AC water leak repair
|$75 – $600
An AC service call costs $75 to $200 to diagnose the problem. Many companies apply this fee to the repair cost.
HVAC repair technicians charge $75 to $150 per hour on average or up to $250 per hour for after-hours emergency calls.
AC freon refrigerant leak repair cost
The following table shows the average cost to find and fix an AC refrigerant leak.
|National average cost
|Average cost range
|$200 to $1,500
* Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
AC leak test cost
The cost to find an AC leak is $100 to $330, depending on the test method. There are several different types of leak tests:
Electronic leak detection is the most common and cost-effective test method. However, the drawback is that the detector can only scan components it can touch.
Dye detection involves sending fluorescent dye through the HVAC system. Technicians use a UV light to locate spots where the dye leaks out.
Nitrogen detection involves replacing the remaining refrigerant in the AC system with compressed nitrogen, which makes audible noises at any leak points.
Ultrasonic leak detection involves using a device to listen for refrigerant gas escaping from the line.
A bubble test, also called soap bubble detection, involves dabbing a soap and water mixture on any suspected leak locations and looking for air bubbles that form at the leak points.
Halide torch detection uses a flame that turns green when it comes in contact with chloride. Halide torch tests have become less common because not all refrigerant includes chloride.
Costs to fix a freon leak
The cost to fix a freon leak depends on the AC system's age, accessibility, the extent of the damage, and whether any parts need replacing. Refrigerant leaks often occur in the following parts, which typically require replacement instead of repair:
AC evaporator coil replacement costs $400 to $1,000 if under warranty or $650 to $2,400 if not under warranty.
AC condenser coil replacement costs $900 to $2,300.
AC compressor replacement costs $600 to $1,200 if under warranty or $1,300 to $2,500 if not under warranty.
An AC freon refill costs $100 to $320 for R-410A refrigerant or $180 to $600 for R-22 freon. The AC unit typically needs recharging after repairing the leak.
Signs of an AC freon leak
Common signs of an air conditioning refrigerant leak include:
Vents blowing warm air
AC runs all day but doesn't cool the home
Frost or ice on the evaporator coil
Oily residue on the refrigerant lines
Humid indoor air
Hissing, gurgling, or bubbling sounds from the AC unit
Water leaking and puddling around the condenser
Sudden increase in utility bills
Types of freon leaks
Most AC freon leaks are standing leaks (SL) in the evaporator or condenser coil. These leaks are typically not repairable and the parts require replacement instead. Some leaks in the refrigerant line set can be repaired with a weld.
Pinhole leaks or cumulative micro-leaks (CML) may also form in the coils or refrigerant lines over the years due to vibration, pressure, or general wear and tear.
Home HVAC water leak repair cost
Fixing a water leak in a home AC costs $75 to $600, depending on the cause and whether any parts require replacing.
|Flushing the drain line
|$75 – $250
|Drain pan replacement
|$200 – $600
|Condensate pump replacement
|$100 – $450
|Air filter replacement
|$10 – $70 (DIY)
|Evaporator coil cleaning
|$100 – $400
Common issues that cause AC water leaks:
A clogged condensate drain line is the most common cause of an AC water leak. Flushing the drain line costs $75 to $250.
Drain pan replacement costs $200 to $600 if the pan is cracked or rusted.
Condensate pump replacement costs $100 to $450. A malfunctioning condensate pump won't remove water from the drain pan through the drain line, causing the pan to overflow.
Replacing the air filter costs $10 to $70, depending on the type. A dirty or clogged air filter blocks airflow over the evaporator coil, causing excess condensation.
AC coil cleaning costs $100 to $400. Dirt and oil on the evaporator coil or condenser coil may cause excess condensation, resulting in a water leak.
Is it normal for AC units to leak water?
It's normal for an AC unit to leak a small amount of water due to condensation. Excess moisture drips into the drain pan and is pumped out through the drain line. Frequent leaks indoors or puddles around the outdoor condenser that don't dry out quickly may indicate an AC problem.
DIY refrigerant leak repair kit cost
DIY leak repair kits cost $70 to $160 and include a leak-sealing chemical in a syringe or canister along with an injection hose or applicator. The chemical travels along the refrigerant's path through the AC system and seals any leak points.
Leak sealant syringe refills cost $30 to $100, depending on the AC size. An AC system may require multiple sealant applications.
AC leak repair FAQs
Should I repair the freon leak or replace my AC instead?
Consider replacing the AC instead of repairing the leak if any of these conditions apply:
The AC is more than 10 years old.
The system uses R-22 freon.
The repair cost is at least 50% of the price of a new AC.
The repair cost multiplied by the system's age in years exceeds $5,000.
A new air conditioner costs $2,500 to $7,500, including installation.
How to check for a freon leak in a home AC
An AC technician tests for leaks using an electronic leak detector, dye, ultrasonic detector, or nitrogen bubble test. You can use these other simple methods to check for a freon leak before calling a technician for repairs:
Listen for hissing or bubbling sounds coming from the unit. Pinpoint the location of the sound.
Look for dirty or oily spots on the refrigerant line. Leaking refrigerant attracts dirt.
Mix soap with warm water and stir for several minutes. Apply the soap solution to areas where you suspect leaks. As refrigerant escapes, air bubbles form at the leak points.
Are freon leaks dangerous?
Freon is a dangerous toxic substance that is harmful to health. Inhaling refrigerant gas may cause severe illness or death. Direct skin contact with refrigerants may cause a chemical burn or allergic reaction. Freon leaks also damage the environment and deplete the ozone layer.
Hiring an air conditioner repair service
Before hiring an AC repair company near you, be sure to:
Get at least three estimates to compare.
Look for a NATE-certified technician with experience repairing air conditioners.
Confirm the technician is EPA Section 608 certified to handle refrigerants.
Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for 5+ years.
Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead for work completed.
Questions to ask
How long have you been repairing air conditioners?
Are you NATE certified or ACCA accredited?
Are you EPA Section 608 certified to handle refrigerants?
Do you charge a diagnostic or service call fee to find the leak? If yes, do you apply that fee to the repair cost?
Which leak detection methods will you use?
How long will the leak test and repairs take?
Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
What does your warranty policy include?
What is your payment schedule?