How to recharge a window air conditioner

If your window air conditioner producing less cold air now, it’s time to check the refrigerant level and proceed with window air conditioner freon refill.

The sudden decrease in the cooling is usually due to the leakage in the loop system that will cause the refrigerant to leak out or your window air conditioner have low level of freon. Refrigerant is the actual chemical that causes cooling.

Can window ac units be recharged? Off course!

Before changing and refilling the refrigerant you must dive into the rules of your locality. If the rules allow you to recharge window air conditioner, then go ahead, else please hire a license HVAC technician to recharge ac window unit.

What type of freon is used in window air conditioners?

Many people think that it doesn’t make much sense but most people use one of the two types of refrigerant: R-22 or R-410A. R-22 is considered to have harmful effects that’s why many countries are working out to put a complete ban on it. And soon it is hoped it will be wiped out. So people are looking forward toward environmentally friendly Freon that is efficient as well as cost-effective.

Mainly the use of refrigerant depends on the age of the window air conditioner. Older window air conditioners used R-22 which is chlorodifluoromethane( CHClF2). The latest window air conditioners use other refrigerants like R-410a which is a blend of 50% R125 and 50% R32. R-125 which is Pentaflouroethane (CHF2CF3). R3, difluoromethane (methylene fluoride) has the chemical formula CH2F2.

New window air conditioners mainly use R-32.

New window air conditioners mainly use R-32

How much does it cost to recharge a window aircon?

The average cost to recharge the Freon in an air conditioner is $150, but some extra recovery fee has tobe submitted for the proper disposal of the refrigerant that will cost $50-$150. It ranges from $225-$500

with the average spending amount by the owners to be $350 for a 2.5ton HVAC window air conditioner for recharging of R410a refrigerant and minor repair.

How much does it cost to recharge a window aircon

How to recharge a window air conditioner

Recharging window air conditioning unit is not a difficult task but if you have never worked with refrigerant then surely it will be challenging for you. If you want recharging your window air conditioner with freon, you should consult  professional HVAC technician. Under EPA regulations, only professionals can recharge the HVAC window air conditioner. Following steps should be taken before refilling the refrigerant.

Steps to recharge a window air conditioner

Select the necessary items

You need many different items for recharging window air conditioner

  • Freon kit
  • Refrigerant kit (refrigerant usually 410a)
  • Leak detector
  • Screwdriver
  • Protective glasses
  • Gloves
  • Bullet valve

Unplug your window air conditioner

Unplug your window air conditioner to make it dead. By unplugging you can work and inspect the inner parts of your window air conditioner.

Personal protection

To ensure your protection is necessary. You should wear protective gloves, protective glasses during the process of refilling. Protection is necessary because the Freon being used as a refrigerant is a toxic chemical. It is cryogenic and will cause frostbite if comes in contact with the skin directly.

Opening of the Window air conditioner

You can select the opening method by going through the owner’s manual. Older refrigerants can be opened by sliding the front ends but the latest window air conditioners need to be opened by screwdrivers.

Determine the leaks

How to check ac freon level? There are many methods for checking the leaks you can select the best method according to your choice.

Using Soap

It is a very simple method you can check the leak by using a soap solution. Prepare a soap solution in water and then lubricate the parts of the loop system, pipe, hoses, and valves, and then switch on the system. You will see bubble formation at the point of leakage.

Leak Detector

Switch on your window air conditioner and then cover the outer unit from the draft. The next step is to switch on the detector and pass the probe near this outdoor unit. The detector will give audiovisual signals according to the type of the detector. This will help you detect the leakage very fast.

Use of Nitrogen

This method needs high proficiency. In this method pressure of nitrogen is measured at regular intervals. First of all close the valve that connects to upstream or downstream apparatuses, then pressurize the unit with nitrogen and check the pressure of nitrogen in the start and then after some time. The decrease in pressure indicates leakage.

Fluorescent Dye

This method is very easy. In this method,the system is filled with a fluorescent dye and then the system is turned on. This fluorescent circulates along with the refrigerant and will lean at the leakage points. Then you can use a flashlight for detection of that leakage site or an ultraviolet lamp to point out the leak.

Fix the leak

There will be two conditions with the leakage of your window air conditioner. In the first case, your window air conditioner will leak slowly and there will be no need to fix it. It can be fixed by boosting your window air conditioner. But the second case is when your window air conditioner will leak fast then you will have to solder the area of leakage.

Connect valves to the aircon compressor

Locate the compressor and two lines coming from it. Attach one of the lines with the service valve from a kit and attach the second line with the tap valve. Freon kit is provided with both these valves.

Freon kits are provided with a detailed diagram to guide you about connecting the valves.

Recharge window air conditioner

When everything is connected properly and there is no chance of leakage then turn on the window air conditioner with the highest power setting. Refrigerant will flow from the tank to the unit. Manual will guide about the amount of Freon needed by your unit and there will be a gauge to indicate that the limit has been reached. Now unplug your window air conditioner and remove the tap valve and service and switch on your window air conditioner.

Point to Ponder!

Some countries do not allow any unlicensed person to recharge the window air conditioner. But if your country allows then still you should call a professional for this purpose to avoid any mishap. You should ensure that you fill the right amount of Freon because overcharging causes greater leakage and less charging cause less efficiency and costs too much.

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