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Refrigerator Losing Its Cool? 5 Signs You Have a Freon Leak

There's nothing worse than finding out that your refrigerator isn't working properly anymore. As soon as your refrigerator gives out, you have to worry about all the food that you'll need to replace, especially if you can't take care of the repairs quickly enough.
Freon leaks are one refrigerator issue that you need to take seriously. Not only will a Freon leak stop your refrigerator from working properly, but it also releases a harmful gas into the environment.
Unfortunately, Freon leaks aren't easily identified simply by looking your refrigerator. Here are five signs your refrigerator has a Freon leak.

1. Your Food Doesn't Stay Cold or Frozen

A Freon leak can prevent your refrigerator from reaching the proper temperature. However, other less severe problems also can prevent your refrigerator from maintaining the proper temperature. The first thing you should do is check the temperature control settings.
The temperature may be set too high to work properly. If not, check the seal around your refrigerator doors. Damaged door seals can prevent your refrigerator and freezer from maintaining the proper temperature. 
Finally, look at the back of your refrigerator. If the coils are covered with dust, clean them with your vacuum. If you still face a problem with temperature after these three checks, have the Freon inspected.

2. The Motor Works Overtime

When you take steps to control your energy costs, the last thing you want is for your refrigerator motor to run non-stop. If there's a problem with the Freon in your refrigerator, that's exactly what you'll be dealing with.
Without the Freon, your compressor will continue to run, which sends your electric bill through the roof. A continuously-running compressor also causes your refrigerator motor to overheat, which could lead to more costly repairs down the road.

3. You Experience Headaches

When your refrigerator has a Freon leak, the gas will escape into the air. In most cases, proper ventilation prevents any significant health risks associated with Freon exposure. However, breathing in the fumes can leave you with a headache. If you experience an increase in headaches or flu-like symptoms, see your primary care physician. If the headaches persist, schedule a refrigerator inspection.

4. Your Refrigerator Has a Strange Odor

When a refrigerator has a Freon leak, it emits either a musty odor or an odor like nail polish. If you've noticed a musty odor, clean the drip pan located under your refrigerator. Dirty drip pans can also cause a musty odor.
If you're smelling the overpowering aroma of nail polish in your home, have your refrigerator inspected as soon as possible. This is particularly true if the odor is coming from the inside of your refrigerator or freezer, where the Freon is likely to leak.

5. You Have an Oily Residue

If you've got a Freon leak in your refrigerant line (a copper line that connects the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump to the evaporator coil inside the refrigerator), you'll notice an oily residue either inside the refrigerator or on the floor. Freon is mixed with oil to make it easier for the refrigerant gas to pass through the system.
When there's a leak in the refrigerant lines, the oil escapes with the Freon, which leaves an oily residue. If you see an oily residue inside the refrigerator, discard the food and leave the refrigerator empty until you can repair the leak.
Don't wait until your refrigerator breaks down altogether or you're facing health issues. If you recognize any of the signs of a Freon leak described here, contact Mountain Vista Appliance. We can repair leaks, recharge your Freon, and get your refrigerator running smoothly again.