We are often asked “how often does my air conditioner need to be regassed?” The short answer is “hopefully, never”
There is some misconception that an air conditioning system periodically needs regassing and that most faults can be rectified by refilling the system with refrigerant “gas”. This is a myth.
The refrigerant that flows through your air conditioning system shouldn’t need to be refilled on a regular basis. This is because refrigerant is not something that depletes over time. Refrigerant continuously cycles through your air conditioner, transferring heat rather than generating it. So if your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, then it means you have a leak.
Lifetime Refrigerant Charge
Your air conditioning system is generally shipped from the manufacturer with sufficent rerigerant to last the lifetime of that system. If, at some point, you need a refrigerant recharge, then you can be sure that you have a leak – and you’ll need that leak repaired sooner rather than later. A trained and experienced technician will be required to locate the source of the leak and make repairs, to make sure that the fault doesn’t keep recurring.
Loss of Heating or Cooling
The loss of refrigerant does not directly effect an air conditioner’s electrical systems. Your air conditioner might still blow air, however that air may not be properly heated or cooled. Eventually, the refrigerant level in the system will drop to a point where safety safety controls will stop the system from working at all. If you notice that you air conditioner doesn’t heat or cool as well as it used to, it might just be a blocked filter, or it oould be something more serious. If possible, try cleaning the air filters first. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then it’s time to call a technician for an inspection and diagnosis.
Ice Formation on the Coils
If you have a refrigerant leak, then ice (frost) can develop on the surface of the coils, serving as an insulating barrier to heat transfer and further reducing system effeciency. Your air conditioner has to work harder to do its job until the problem gets so bad that it won’t function at all.