Things To Know About Replacing The Refrigerant In Your AC

The basic job of an air conditioner is to emit cool air and help you to get comfortable when there is scorching heat outside. After a couple of years, you find that the AC is not able to make the rooms cold enough as it used to. This is something very common in any kind of AC. Be it split or window or central, when the AC runs out of refrigerant, it stops emitting the cool air. Sometimes, it even emits warm air making your more uncomfortable than without the AC. The refrigerant in the AC is responsible for keeping the temperature down.

When you notice that the AC is not cooling the room down, your first course of action will be to call the experts. The technicians are the best judge to decide what the solution will be. In most cases, the refrigerant has to be recharged so that it works perfectly like before. However, there are times when the need of replacing R-22 refrigerant completely instead of a recharge. It may be a slightly expensive option but it will keep the AC going for years. Complete replacement is required when the leak in the refrigerant becomes too large. If the leak is rather small, it can be overlooked with a recharge. However, when the leak gets out of control, it will be time to replace the refrigerant.

Changing the refrigerant

Are you thinking of replacing the refrigerant on your own? Well, it is a strict no-no. If you are not familiar with how the system works and have never opened an AC before, it would be best to call the professionals.

The pressurized refrigerant that is used in the air conditioner is also known as Freon. This coolant helps to control the temperature and allows the AC to run smoothly. Whenever there is any sign that the AC is not working properly and emitting warm air instead of cold, you can consider that it is because of the lack of Freon in the system. If you are interested to know how the refrigerant is replaced, then here are the steps that the technician would carry out:

  1. Inspection of the AC – before anything else, the technician would inspect the AC first, especially the compressor. You can also locate the compressor if you follow the manual. The compressor resembles the shape of a metal cylinder. You will also see two lines coming from this metal cylinder. Before the refrigerant is replaced, every technician checks the entire system. They make sure that the unit is clean enough and working in its best condition. This is done to rule out other problems that the AC may be facing.
  2. Plugging in the service valve – locating the service inside the refrigerant is a critical task. Different models of ACs have different positions of the service valve. Technicians who are well versed with a variety of models would be able to identify the location easily. The easiest way to identify the service valve is by searching for the large connector valve. This will be present amongst the other kits of the content. Once the service valve is located, it is plugged into one of the compressor lines.
  3. Plugging in the tap valve – the new refrigerant kit consists of a valve connector. This will be quite small in size and is known as the tap valve. It is plugged into the adjacent line of the compressor; so, one line is used by the service valve and the other is used by the tap valve. There will be screws, nuts, and bolts to tighten both these valves. The technician will ensure that they are tightened at their very best because even a small leak can ponder the replacement process.
  4. Replacing the refrigerant – in this step, the Freon is actually replaced along with the lines of the compressor. The new refrigerant container is attached to the two valves; the service valve and the tap valve. The AC will automatically force the refrigerant into the unit.
  5. Charging the refrigerant – after the new refrigerant is installed in the AC, the Freon has to fully flow into it. In order to let this happen, the technician turns the unit on to its highest setting. As soon as this happens, the Freon starts entering into the air conditioner. The technician will understand when the entire unit has absorbed all the Freon. He will then turn the AC off and remove the service and tap valves that were installed into the compressor.

Importance of hiring a professional

There are certain videos that show how these 5 steps are done but it would be easier to call the expert in this case. Following are some of the reasons why you should hire a professional when the refrigerant needs to be replaced:

  • They have the appropriate tools and equipment to install the valves, tighten the screws and nuts and install the new refrigerant.
  • Apart from the tools, they are qualified and licensed for such work. The technicians have the knowledge and experience to install a new refrigerant which you may not have. Merely cleaning the filters of an AC on your own does not qualify to become an AC technician. So, it is better to contact the experts when your AC is not cooling the room.
  • The experts can identify other problems that the AC may have. Truth be told, you are not an expert in handling AC problems. It is not like fixing a fuse that you can do it on your own. The experts can sense if there are additional problems with your AC. So, let them do what they are good at.

Regular maintenance of the AC is of utmost importance if you want to keep it running for a long period of time. The refrigerant will need periodic recharges and sometimes, they have to be replaced too. Instead of waiting for something serious to happen, call in the service providers and get the refrigerant fixed in no time.

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