Home Air Conditioning and Refrigerant Re-gassing
What to look for when your air-conditioner has lost gas:
Your home air-conditioner (wall split-system or ducted) should rarely lose its gas. If installed by a seasoned professional, your system is pressure tested at the time of installation, and, if the system holds the required pressure, it should hold that for the life of the system. However, issues can occur and we’ve outlined few different reasons you may require a regas below:
Manufacturing fault – Cheaply manufactured air conditioners may be low on gas from faults at the factory, although this can also occur at times with quality, leading brands too. At Aussie air conditioning we only install and recommend reputable brands like Panasonic and Daikin to minimise any instances of problems
Installation fault – there are four connection points on your wall split system air conditioner: two on the internal face and two on the outdoor parts. Improper welding may lead to small leaks that over time mean your air conditioner breaks down and requires more gas. If the pipe work has not been cut correctly, d-burred, flared, lubed and torqued, then a gas leak can occur. With correct installation these issues can be avoided. Which is why we recommend installing only with professionals. Service caps are a secondary part to reduce refrigerant leaks on the service valves on an air conditioner. If these caps are not properly secured the system over time will slowly loose in refrigerant.
Age or brand – over time, as your air conditioner ages, vibrations, wear and tear, quality of manufacturing and weather can lead to leaks in your system. We would in this instance recommend a full replacement (depending on brand), as the types of gas required, or parts for replacement may not be able to be sourced.
Correctly having an air conditioning unit re-gassed should prevent the system from leaking again. If a system has been installed for a long period of time (over 8-15 years) the copper piping used in the installation can wear, and develop tiny holes and/or cracks from vibration which can allow the refrigerant to leak. A service technician may just top up the system with gas, this is not the correct procedure if there is no gas in the air conditioner. Only if the system is close to the correct temperature/pressure a refrigerant adjustment maybe possible.
The correct way to re-gas an air conditioning system is to weigh the refrigerant in accordance with air conditioner manufacture guidelines. This is displayed on the sticker on the outdoor condenser unit, this refrigerant maybe R22, R410A or R32 which are the most common refrigerants in air conditioning.
The 4 most common signs your air-conditioner is low on gas - Wall Split System Air Conditioners:
If the air-conditioner runs, i.e the internal fan, outdoor fan and compressor function well but it's not cooling, this is a sign that there may be no refrigerant gas in the system
Another sign may be flashing lights on your internal unit, which will indicate the system is low on gas or have no gas then will shut down after several minutes
You can also check the indoor coil which can be found once you remove the filters. This coil will show signs of freezing up, just like inside your freezer at home
On the outdoor unit of a wall split system air conditioner the same signs of freezing condensation will be seen on the outdoor pipe work. The copper pipe work can most often be found on the right hand side of the outdoor unit, and if the system is running low on gas these pipes will show signs of freezing up
If the system runs but it's not cooling after a few minutes, most times it will then shut down. The system may also have self diagnostics and give you a sequence of flashing lights or an error code telling you that the system is low on gas.
Replacing a new Air Conditioning System vs Re-gassing an Old Air Conditioner
Without an open ARCTICK license ( Unlimited ), installers are not allowed to re-gas air-conditioners or undertake any related repairs in QLD. The limited 18kW installers license does NOT cover this area of re-gassing or repairs. Many electricians for example may claim to be able to do the work but in fact are not licensed to do so, so we recommend you always check: Costs can also vary greatly, so we have put together a procedure below and outlined a fair pricing allowance. We pride ourselves on being a specialist air-conditioning company, operating for over 14 years and proudly providing qualified and educated advice and service at a fair price:
Recover any refrigerant or air in the system if required Air Conditioning Re-gas
Disconnect both ends of the interconnecting pipe work.
Cut off old flares and re-flare new.
Re-connect both ends using a lube behind the flares.
Tighten to correct torque.
Nitrogen charge unit pressure test if required.
Check for leaks.
Recover/vac down unit.
Re-gas unit (Weighed Inn using scales) and test run with the correct amount of refrigerant.
We carry a twelve-month warranty on new installation for any refrigerant leaks. Unfortunately, second-hand air conditioners will not carry a warranty.
Air Conditioning Re-Gas Breakdown/Leaking of refrigerant gas (unit is not cooling, common correct procedure for re-gas)
Wall Split System and Ducted Air Conditioning Re-gas Repair: $145.00 incl. GST Call out Brisbane Metro Areas + $85 per hour for technicians labour. Refrigerant charged @ $30 per 100g for R22 refrigerant
Wall Split System and Ducted Air Conditioning Re-gas Repair: $145.00 incl. GST Call out Brisbane Metro Areas + $85 per hour for technicians labour. Refrigerant charged @ $30 per 100g for R410A refrigerant
Wall Split System and Ducted Air Conditioning Re-gas Repair: $145.00 incl. GST Call out Brisbane Metro Areas + $85 per hour for technicians labour. Refrigerant charged @ $30 per 100g for R32 refrigerant
If older systems don’t seem as cold, it may be due to improper maintenance. Not serving your air-conditioner regularly (at least quarterly or annually, depending on use), will cause the efficiency to drop. We can help with that. If your air-conditioner is over 5 years old and it is not cooling as well as it used to, it may just be time to replace it. Manufacturers are constantly improving the longevity of systems, but with our climate 7 years is an average lifespan of a good brand with regular maintenance. Some last longer, some less, but none will last forever.
If your air-con doesn’t seem as cool anymore, we can diagnose the fault for a small call out fee. If it turns out you need a new air-conditioner and you purchase one through us, we refund this fee.
So if you have been quoted a regas for your home air-conditioner, question if its economical to do so and is it really going to improve the cooling?
Organise a call out to service your home air-conditioner around Brisbane by clicking here.