Is your window AC not keeping your home as cool as before? Perhaps its refrigerant is leaking. If that’s the case, you may need to recharge it instead of purchasing a whole new AC unit. But first, is it possible to recharge a window AC?
You can recharge a window air conditioner when there’s a unit leak, or its coolant has run low, which causes inefficient cooling. If your window air conditioner is not cooling anymore, you can recharge it with a refrigerant and restore its cooling power.
While this might not be an easy task, you can do it yourself and save money. But before you learn how to recharge your window air conditioner, you should first know all its components and how the system works. Here is a complete guide to all the components and everything you need to know about recharging your window air conditioner.
A window AC has the following parts
- Compressor, whose duty is to pump the refrigerant
- Refrigerant tube
- Condensing and evaporating coils
- A blower
- A fan
- Control unit
- Expansion valve
- A filter
A window air condition employs both the condensation and evaporation principles to provide a cooling effect to the surrounding air. It all starts with the blower located inside the AC unit. After sucking warm air present in the room, the blower moves it to evaporator coils.
The refrigerant absorbs the heat in its tube from the evaporator coils, transforming it from liquid to gas. The gaseous refrigerant will then travel through the condensing coils to turn back to liquid form. The condenser has the most important job in this whole process: changing the refrigerant’s pressure before sending it to the right coils.
Note that a window AC system has two main units, the heat-releasing unit that sits outside the window and the cooling unit placed in the room. These two units are separated by what is referred to as the insulating layer.
Your window AC unit may not be functioning efficiently like it used to, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it requires recharging. However, the following signs show that there’s a refrigerant leak. Thus, you should recharge the AC.
- Unusual increase in your electricity bills
- AC vents producing warm air
- Ice or frost formation on the unit
- There’s a persistent noise from the AC unit
Now that you have all the crucial information about a window AC, the components, how the system works, and the signs to show that your AC unit needs to be recharged, it’s about time you also know how to recharge it. Follow this step-by-step guide on how you can recharge your window AC yourself.
Step 1: Turn the Power Supply Off Then Unplug the Device
To turn off a window AC, you must first unplug it from the wall socket. After, you can set it apart to access its inner workings.
Step 2: Use the User Manual to Open the Unit
You can use a screwdriver to disassemble the unit, especially if yours is a newer model. But for the older models, all you have to do is to slide the front. At this stage, there are a number of things to check to rule out other reasons why your window AC isn’t working as it should.
See if the fan is working or if there’s any debris blocking it. Clear if you find any. Then, proceed to inspect the AC unit for leaks.
There are several methods to check AC leaks, but using a leak detector is the most effective way. If this detector tool detects leakage in the AC or near the outdoor unit when employed, it sends either a visual or an audio signal to affirm the same.
Step 3: If There’s Any Leak, Repair It Before You Proceed Further
Soldering is the ideal option if there are only a few leakage spots, one or two. But if the leaks are severe, then the cheapest option would be to replace the entire window AC unit.
Step 4: Link the Compressor to The Valves
Consult your manual to enable you to locate the compressor. Then, open the refrigerant kit to attach the two compressor lines, one to the service valve and the other to the faucet valve, also referred to as the tap valve.
Step 5:Attach the freon kits to the valves
Now that you’ve connected the two valves to the compressor, the next step is to attach the valves each to the correct spot on the freon kits. You may check on the instructions that come with the freon kit if you can’t seem to get it right.
Step 6: Finally, You Can Recharge the Unit
Now, plug the AC back into the power system and switch it on to enable you to refill your AC with the refrigerant from the kit. By so doing, the power system will trigger the freon to start flowing to the AC unit from the refrigerant kit.
Wait until you see it indicated on the freon’s kit gauge that the AC has reached its limit before you can unplug. Later you can disconnect the kit and the two valves from the compressor. Plug and power on your AC to enjoy the cool breeze again.
The refrigerants used in air conditioners contain poisonous chemicals that are harmful to your health and toxic to the environment. These chemicals can cause global warming and even lead to the depletion of the ozone layer.
You must wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses to safeguard your eyes, hands, and skin when working with the AC refrigerant. Should it get on your skin, wash the area immediately with running water. Also, remember never to inhale the AC refrigerant as this can create severe health complications, which can lead to death.
When you’re 100% sure that your window AC needs a recharge, then it’s possible to do so yourself by following the instructions above. However, if you’re not sure about what you’re doing and following the toxic nature of the refrigerant, you should hire a qualified HVAC technician to do the job. After all, they have the necessary training on how to handle the refrigerants correctly.
You can also try cleaning the unit first, then turn it on to see if the cooling has improved before refilling the refrigerant tube. Sometimes, your window AC may only need cleaning maintenance services to function efficiently.