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Question DetailsAsked on 6/30/2013

Does a freon leak mean I must get a new home AC unit? Can't I just get the leak fixed?

A PSE&G technician was at my house to charge the freon in my AC. He told me that I've got a leak & that I'll have to get a whole new unit. This seems a little far-fetched to me, especially because my unit is only 10 years old. Can't the leak just be fixed?

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5 Answers

Voted Best Answer

One thing I did not mention directly, but is in the referenced discussions on R22 (Freon) under the HVAC category, is that refilling your system will cost from $100+ to several hundreds of $, because of the rapidly rising price of Freon. Therefore, unless the tech is certain he has found and totally fixed the leak (by using an inert gas pressure test after the repair and BEFORE refilling the system with Freon), then you could end up sinking a hundred or two in repairs, and a hundred or few in Freon that would just leak back out if there is an unidentified leak. Therefore, that might weigh on your decision on whether to repair or get a new system.

That is why a quality, reputable, HONEST contractor is vital - an honest craftsman will explain your alternatives and truthfully say what he would do in your position, and give you honest pricing for the alternatives, not just give you one choice to take or leave.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Call and get someone else to perform a proper leak check on your system ,I've got systems that we service that are 40 years old and still operating.

The technicians are getting lazy, especially if the companies pay commission , then they would rather try to sell you a new system , than repair !

good luck

Source: Owner of hvac company

Answered 7 years ago by Luvboat10


9 out of 10 times if you have a good tech with enough technical skills he should be able to find your leak. if it is a single leak he should be able to fix it. But now a days it is more advantage to sell you a new system than repair it because the fix is time consuming and they would rather have the tech stick to schedule than waste time looking for the leak. time is money and techs are paid by the call then by the hour

Raymond gonzalez


Answered 7 years ago by Raymond Gonzalez


Did he say where the leak is ? If in a fitting or line, simple and cheap to just repair or change that out. If in the exchanger coils, commonly they have to be replaced unless it is in a reachable spot that can be brazed. If in the compressor (compressor bypass leak) then that is a major component, and probably the most expensive part of the system to replace, so in that case you would be putting down a lot of money to fix a system that is out of warranty and is probably 65-85% of the way to its average service life of 12-15 years.

One other possibility which he may have been thinking but did not say, is if it is an R22 refrigerant system, that is costing hundreds of $ to fill now that it is going out of production, and will cost more in the future, so he may have figured you were better off with a system that uses the replacement refrigerants. For more on that subject and when the phaseout takes full effect, see the discussions in Home - HVAC (link right below your question, above).

I would call him back and find out where the leak is (if he tested for that, rather than just checking the pressure and saying there was a leak somewhere), and why he recommended a new unit over repair.

Then you can decide what you want to do, and if you wnt to get another opinion. You might want to check his firm's rating on Angie's List too, to see how much weight you want to give to his opinion.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


If the leak is in the "indoor" Evaporator coil, the cost to replace the coil, if not covered by a ten year parts warranty( you should check warranty), is far greater then 50% of a new system. These coils are not repairable , in most cases, there are numerous pin holes from Formicary Corrossion, and more on the way.

The tech should and may have indentified the leak, if not ask that they do so.

Most all new systems will have a 10 year parts warranty, though it must be registered with the manufacturer to be valid.

Check out Carriers new Green Speed system, terriffic system, much lower utility bills.

As always find the best contractors on Angie's List!


Answered 7 years ago by BayAreaAC


It's smart to get a second opinion on any AC estimate or expected work. Although a freon leak could be a major concern and a new unit warranted, there may be another opinion among industry experts.

Angie's List can help find local AC freon experts that can help assess if the unit needs to be replaced or not.

Learn what is a fair price on Freon.

Answered 2 years ago by al-moderator

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