With regular filter changes and a yearly air conditioner tune-up, it's expected that your air conditioner should be at its best while keeping your home cool and fresh all summer long. But if it's the other way round (warm or room temperature), it simply indicates that something isn't right and it might be that air is coming out of your vents, which could mean that there's a need for your HVAC unit to be recharged.
If you've ever heard someone discuss recharging their air conditioner unit, they're simply talking about adding more refrigerant to the unit to ensure that the refrigerant is properly pressurized within the refrigerant system.
How Often Do You Need an A/C Recharge?
First, understand that your air conditioner was designed not to be recharged at any point, but for some reasons, there has been a need for it to be recharged to ensure the quality effectiveness of the A/C unit.
All stated reasons for a recharge can be redirected to a leak in the refrigerant system as the cause of it. When you have your yearly A/C tune-up checkup, your technician will definitely check on the system pressure to ensure it's in its range and also check for every possible leakage that could have occurred.
Back to the question "how often do you need an air conditioner recharge", the answer will always be "it depends". Yes, it depends. There's no specific range or given period of time or season for a recharge. You can enjoy your air conditioner at its peak for two years or five years without a recharge. You will only have to when it starts cooling less than it used to be before it stops cooling completely.
Possible Reason for Air Conditioner Leakage
1. Physical Damage
Air conditioners such as central air conditioners are exposed to physical damage which can lead to leakage or any other destruction of its components while ductless Mini-Split air conditioners have a low rate of physical damage, but there's every possibility that during installation or manufacturing, if your installer or procedure isn't careful enough, there might be damage which won't be detected at the moment.
2. Poor Designs/Installation
Some people haven't experienced the best of their A/C simply because of poor design and installation. If you're a victim of this, you can still experience leakage despite affording a brand new A/C.
Even homeowners with a brand new HVAC system sometimes experience water leakage. If the unit’s condensate trap was designed poorly or installed incorrectly, it could prevent the condensate from properly draining.
The water then builds up in the drain pan and flows right back onto your property. It is imperative that you reach out to a professional HVAC repairman to inspect your air conditioner’s condensate trap.
Note: No matter how small the cause of damage to an air conditioner could be, detecting a leak in a timely manner is vital. The longer you wait, the greater the damage might become. Small leaks are frequently invisible to an FJC leak detector tool or even the naked eye.
There might be a need for equipment in order to detect leakage, while larger leaks can be detected through different means, including the usage of oily or dirty residue.
How To Recharge An Air Conditioner
This article will be outlining two processes on how to recharge an air conditioner at a low risk of damage, but ensure you read this article fully to your understanding before choosing which process best suits you.
The best and most acceptable way on how to recharge your Air conditioner is to call a specialist to help you get it fixed. This way there's no reason to be afraid of damages and there's every chance that he/she might detect something unusual which needs to be put in place.
If you're confident enough to handle it or you're low on cash and want to give it a try, checkout the second method below.
Before you begin the recharge, it is important to take note of a lot of things and also ensure that all requirements are available during the process.
First, research what refrigerant your A/C unit uses. There are various types of refrigerant available, and refilling your system with a random refrigerant may cause more damage than just a leak. (In this article, we'll be using Freon as a refrigerant).
Conduct a thorough cleaning of your system to ensure there's no dirt blockage on its components. Ensure to check if various components are working before you proceed. If not, then ensure to call a specialist to check it out for you and also help you with the recharge, but if all system units are working perfectly fine, then you can proceed with the next step.
Step2: Connect the Service Valve
Get the service valve found inside the Freon kit (the larger connector valve). Plug it into a compressor line in your air conditioner unit (you'll find it next to the compressor). You can check your refrigerant manual for instructions to help you attach it appropriately.
Step 3: Plug the Tap Valve
You'll also find a tape valve (a small valve) in your Freon kit. Plug it into the remaining compressor line on your A/C compressor.
Next is to add freon to the lines. To do this, you'll have to attach the freon container to the two valves that have been installed as described above. Basically, your A/C will force the Freon into the unit.
Step 5-Charge Freon
Now that a new refrigerant has been installed in your AC unit, the Freon will need to flow into it. To do this, simply switch on the unit and increase it to the highest level. This will automatically force the Freon into your unit, effectively recharging your A/C in the process.
Simply turn off the A/C once the unit is done taking all of the freon and also remove the container and the two valves installed earlier.