How to Charge Air Conditioner Gas
How to Charge Air Conditioner Gas

How to Charge Air Conditioner Gas ?

How to Charge Air Conditioner Gas ? You will need to know about the parts or the important components of the AC before you recharge or do the refilling. The discharge line is warm, and the suction line is cool. So, now that you are all set with your gloves, and a decision to fill in the air conditioner, you will need to follow simple steps to go for the AC Gas refilling process.

How to Load Air Conditioner Gas?

How to Charge Air Conditioner Gas ? Outdoor units of air conditioners are usually charged with a large amount of refrigerant, and its reserves are measured in kilograms. Usually freon is enough for several years of normal functioning of the split system, but sometimes it is still necessary to fill the air conditioner.

The reasons for the loss of refrigerant are different, but most often this procedure is necessary when the inter-unit line is very long or when the previously used air conditioner was dismantled and installed in a new location. In the latter case, significant losses of freon were caused by the dismantling and transportation of climate equipment.

On average, during normal use, the cylinders of external units lose 6-8% of the refrigerant, so sooner or later you still have to fill the air conditioner. And, in principle, you can do it yourself. The main thing is to have time, nerves and little knowledge in this area.

It is especially important to determine exactly how much refrigerant needs to be charged into the external unit of the split system, since its excess can cause the compressor to break down: freon will flow from the gas tube in liquid form, but in a vapor state.

Preparation for the refilling:

  1. Check the AC roughly: Cleaning up the air filter should be the first and the easiest thing to do. For the refrigerant to cool up the room or the home, you need to ensure as well that the condenser coil is in a working condition. Usually, the air handler blower fan is where the debris accumulates.
  2. Check for any leaks or poor connection: It is vital for you to check for any leaks or poor insulation points. The air conditioner might cause problems if there are any problems.
  3. Read and take notes of the gauge: What temperature does the gauge show? Take note of this and keep track of it before you progress with the AC gas refill.
  4. Know the types of refrigerant in use: It is necessary to note the type of refrigerant to use. This will be essential since this makes a big difference in keeping the AC working for long.

Equipment Required

  • Vacuum Pump with 1-4 horsepower
  • AC manifold gauge set
  • Refrigerant
  • And some patience (more on it later) ?

Procedure for AC gas filling

  • Filling AC gas is actually an easy job with the right tools and safety gear. First, on the air conditioner locate the suction line(low side) and the discharge line (high side). These are located behind a window AC and in a split AC in the outdoor unit The suction line is located above the discharge line and is cool the touch.While the discharge line is warm to the touch. The suction line is used for recharging gas into the AC.
  • Unscrew the bolt of the suction line as shown below. Loosen the screw inside with a Torx hex key(as shown in the picture below). This screw acts as a valve, it won’t let refrigerant flow in or out till it is closed. Thus, loosening this screw is important for filling AC gas.
  • Then remove the bolt on the left and connect the blue hose of the AC manifold gauge to this port. Connect the yellow hose to the vacuum pump. Remove all the air from the system. This step is very important because any moisture inside the compressor will damage it.
  • Now, make sure all the valves of the AC manifold gauge are closed. Then, connect the yellow hose to the refrigerant tank. Before opening the tank knob, loosen the yellow hose slightly at the manifold end. Then open the cylinder knob for 1 second and close it. This will remove all the air from inside the pipes. Now, again tighten the yellow hose.
  • Now, open the low side knob of the manifold for 3-4 seconds and close it. Then turn ON the AC and wait till the compressor kicks in.
  • Once the compressor starts, again open the low side valve of the manifold. Keep the valve opened for 4 seconds and close it for 2 seconds. Note where the pressure settles on the gauge once the valve is closed. Keep opening and closing the valve till the pressure settles between 60-70 PSI.

Note: The AC refrigerant gas is filled in small amounts at a time because releasing all the gas at once will damage the compressor.

  • After reaching the 60-70 PSI range,
    • Close the manifold valve
    • Close the refrigerant tank knob
    • Unscrew the blue hose from the suction line
    • Unscrew the yellow hose from the refrigerant tank

Types of AC gases

Did you know that every air conditioner does not work with a common refrigerant? Following are some of the common refrigerants used in air conditioners today:

  1. R410A – commonly known as Puron (its brand name). R410A is used in all the latest air conditioners now. It is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) and does not affect the ozone layer. R410A became the new standard for U.S. residential air conditioning systems back in 2015.
  2. R22 – commonly known as Freon (its brand name). It is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), thus contributes in ozone layer depletion. R22 was discontinued for use in residential air conditioners due to their harmful effects on the environment.

Performance difference between R22 and R410A

R410A has better heat transfer efficiency, thus the AC unit has to do lesser work for the similar amount of cooling, which translates to a better life of the air conditioning unit. R410A works at a higher pressure than R22, so don’t fill an R22 compatible AC  with R410A because the compressor will just…explode.

As a side note, R22 has been discontinued in residential air conditioners. Many manufacturers these days provide conversion kits to make older ACs R410A compatible. While this is a safe upgrade, it is not reliable in the long run. The upgrade is also very expensive (almost half the cost of a new air conditioner). Therefore, it is a better idea to purchase a new R410A compatible air conditioner.

Causes of AC Gas Leakage

  1. Manufacturing defect: Not every manufacturing process is 100% error free, even more so if people are involved in putting the unit together. There are multiple connections and sources that can cause leakage if not done with high precision. If the AC has manufacturing defects, it will leak during the early stages of use and can therefore be repaired under warranty.
  2. Improper installation: The vital part of AC installation involves making flare nut connections and bending copper pipes, which ironically is the most common refrigerant leak. To avoid this, the flare nuts should be sealed with teflon tape and the copper pipes should be bent only with a pipe bender (copper pipes are soft and can easily form sharp bends if the force applied to them is concentrated in a small area).
  3. Regular wear and tear: Air conditioners are pressurized units. Over time, bolts and connections may weaken and a leak may occur.

Now you know all about AC gas filling, the types of gas used, the precautions to be taken to prevent gas leakage in the future! If you have any doubts, please feel free to comment in the section below.

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