How Often Does The AC Need To Be Regassed?
- on February 26, 2020
- Categories: Tips & Tricks
A domestic air conditioning system doesn’t “use up” gas. So you should never need to recharge your A/C, unless there is a leak.
Though the correct term is refrigerant, in this helpful guide we will use refrigerant and gas interchangeably.
Don’t get sucked into a scenario similar to this:
- A/C isn’t blowing cold air
- A “professional” says in need to be gassed up
- You pay to have your system charged
- A/C works for the summer
- Next summer you repeat
When a system has a leak it must be located and repaired in order for it to be recharged with new gas. The scenario above costs you more money and is illegal. If your system still uses the older style of refrigerant (R-22 refrigerant), it is in the process of being phased out as it is extremely bad for the environment, contributing to climate change by depleting the ozone.
What is the correct approach to an air conditioner that has a low gas charge?
An air conditioning technician should spend time fault finding your air conditioner
Similar to any professional, a technician should take time looking at the air conditioning system before making an assumption.
Possible items they should check are (but not limited to)
- Condition of your ductwork and filter
- Checking the outdoor system for issues
- Inspecting the indoor unit
Can’t the technician quickly measure the refrigerant level?
Other problems in the system will affect the reading of the refrigerant charge, producing a false measurement.
Once everything apart from the gas charge is to standard the gas can be measured accurately
If refrigerant is found to be low
After your technician informs you that the air conditioner is low on refrigerant, the leak needs to be found. If this is the case then they should only be able to give you a couple options that can include:
Finding and fixing the leak
A professional will give you an option to locate the leak. Once they find the leak, they’ll be able to give you an accurate price to fix the leak. This completely depends on where the leak is found. This is a possible procedure:
- Remove any remaining refrigerant in the system appropriately
- Use nitrogen and a bubbling liquid to locate the leak
- Repair the leak
- Evacuate the system ready for new refrigerant
- Recharge the air conditioner with the correct gas
- Complete a test to ensure everything is working correctly.
Replacing the whole air conditioning system
Replacing the whole system is sometimes the better path to take.
Finding and repairing a leak on an air conditioner that is 15 years old could be throwing money down the drain. As the other components are still old, the likelihood that another section of the system needs repairing soon is high. The last thing you want is to continually spend money once you’ve already started.
If your system uses the older style of refrigerant that is being phased out, the cost of obtaining the refrigerant makes the decision to upgrade to a new system a lot easier.
Need help with your air conditioning? We’re happy to help - Call 1300 776 247