How often you need to charge the air conditioner
After installation or repair of split-system the working contour is filled with the refrigerant. special substance, evaporating at the negative temperatures. According to the price lists published on the internet, (35 u. е.). The alternative is to save money and solve the problem yourself. We suggest you to consider 3 questions: when does it become necessary to charge the conditioner with freon, how much does it cost to rent the equipment and how to do the work with your own hands.
There are three cases when freon is refilled into split-system:
- During installation or re-installation in a new place;
- After repairs that involve disconnecting the freon lines;
- as a result of refrigerant leakage from the circuit.
For reference. Mobile and window conditioners, which are fulfilled in the form of a monoblock, practically do not need additional charging of freon. Short tubes, installed at the factory, are inside the body and are inaccessible to “crooked” installers. Another thing is the vehicle’s cooler, which is subject to vibration and is much more likely to lose refrigerant.
Coolers. monoblocks lose Freon gas much less often than splits with external communications Actually, after installing a new conditioner there is no need to pour Freon. the manufacturer pumps the gas into the outdoor unit. The same is done by competent craftsmen. when repairing or disassembling the split unit the refrigerant is pumped into the heat exchanger of the outdoor unit. The first two cases imply loss of substance due to unfortunate actions.
Insufficient Freon in the air conditioner system is indicated by the following signs:
- Cooling efficiency decreases. indoor unit fan blows warm air;
- the compressor is running non-stop at full load;
- The inverter air conditioner goes into error and shuts down frequently (the display shows a fault code);
- The service port on the external unit, where the liquid line comes, is covered with ice;
- Under the influence of freon pressure, oil has appeared on the leaky connection;
- evaporator of indoor unit is frosted.
Note. Service ports of split-system are located under the cover on the side wall of outdoor unit. They are connected by 2 lines, where the freon circulates in the liquid and gaseous state. Diameter of liquid pipe is smaller than that of gas pipe.
Complete set of consequences. gas service port is in oil, liquid one is covered with frost, on the photo on the right there is frosted evaporator of the inside unit There is a recommendation on video and sites of companies that are dealing with installation of refrigerating machines: one should charge the conditioners almost annually. Actually correctly installed split unit serves 3-5 years without additional charging because a great amount of coolant cannot escape through reliable connections.
If the above-stated symptoms are observed often, it is necessary to disassemble the joints and to check the quality of rolls. Factory defect inside the units is a rarity even for the “Chinese”.
Here is a piece of advice: start charging when it is really necessary. But it is necessary to clean the air conditioner annually.
How to charge conditioner with freon
Algorithm of actions during charging of the majority of climatic systems is as follows:
- Open the locks on the fittings of the air conditioner;
- remove all the refrigerant that is left to start introducing new refrigerant;
- close the fitting locks when the pressure has dropped to the minimum values;
- Place the container with freon on the scales;
- set the scales to the numerical value of 0;
- Open the valve on the manifold for a few seconds;
- after that, open the gas valve (the temperature in the pipeline goes down and the pressure in the system goes up);
- Close all the valves when the temperature drops 8 degrees.
The refrigerant in the domestic air conditioner is charged. Now the device can be switched on and check the operability.
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What tools and materials are necessary for charging
Carry out the charging of the air conditioner only if you have special tools and devices.
The owner of the house or car will need:
- Stand for filling.
- Freon itself in a gas cylinder.
- charging scales.
- Manometric station.
- Pumping station.
- Wrenches for opening holes.
Important. It is necessary to note that in order to avoid off-nominal situations you should use any tool with great care.
The most accessible way for the beginners is already described above. If you fully comply with all the requirements of the action algorithm, your air conditioner is guaranteed to work for a long time.
Masters use some other ways of charging air conditioner.
Among them, it is worth highlighting such options:
- according to overheat temperature.If the difference between the value on the display and the real temperature of the air leaving the air conditioner is 8 degrees or more, it is necessary to add freon to the domestic split system. The master opens a special valve and adds refrigerant in small portions until the temperature difference decreases to 5 degrees;
- By the pressure of the refrigerant when the air conditioner is in operation;
- How much current a compressor consumes.
Adding of freon by one of the above-mentioned ways is possible only with the help of professional.
Equipment and materials
In order to make independent charging of home split-system buy, and better. rent a small set of equipment:
- Two-stage vacuum pump equipped with check valve;
- Manometer manifold with sight glass and hose set;
- an electronic floor scale;
- Open-end wrenches and Allen keys 5-8 mm in size (can be found in a household).
Note. Pump models equipped with a non-return valve do not “drop” their own oil inside the freon pipes in the process of operation.
Then it is necessary to choose correctly freon for air conditioner, taking into account the nameplate on the external unit or operation manual of the cooler. The label shows the refrigerant brand and the charging rate expressed in kilograms (or grams).
When selecting the type of refrigerant use the following simple recommendations
- Buy freon that is indicated on the label; other brands will not work. Two-component gas R410a is the most widespread, R22 or R134a (in automobiles) are met rarer. R12 refrigerant is considered obsolete and therefore has been discontinued.
- When renting a manometric manifold, be sure to tell us the brand of refrigerant you are using. Unit and hoses operating with freon R22, can not be used for charging with R410a gas, as different oils are added to them. on mineral and synthetic basis correspondingly.
- For connection of manometric station to service ports of split-system, working with R410a refrigerant, the special adapter is used.
- Make sure to calculate the weight of the refrigerant with an allowance. For blowing-out of hoses it is required approximately 50 grams plus 30 grams for each extra meter of mains, if their length exceeds 3 meters.
- For the majority of air conditioners installed in apartments, 1 kg of freon is enough. It is possible to rent together with a cylinder or buy in a separate container.
Some types of cylinders have a built-in siphon, shown on the diagram. Such cylinders do not need to be turned over for the liquid refrigerant charge. Ask your retailer or landlord about the type of tank.
Clarification of. Cylinders filled with R410a gas are colored in pink and freon R22. in green.
There is a specialized electronic device that can detect minor defects of pipes and connections. freon leak detector. If the cooling efficiency is decreased, but there are no obvious leaks in the air conditioner, the meter can help to find the fistula the size of a human hair. If necessary, one can rent a unit, buying it is expensive and makes no sense.
When it is necessary to top up the conditioner
About the periodicity of topping up a conditioner of domestic conditioners. How to determine if your air conditioner requires service and a refrigerant charge.
If you already have an air conditioner installed in your apartment, you rest easy. no more problems with air cooling. For a certain period of time it works properly, but it happens a moment, and on the outside of the air conditioner there is heating, frosting, cooling air is already quite slow. These listed signs indicate that it needs to be recharged. The most popular among the consumers are wall-mounted conditioners, but after such split system is installed, many people notice the existence of outward block, which demands periodical visual control.
At a usual installation, which is made by a professional, it is not necessary to charge the air conditioner. Split-system is originally charged with freon, which is placed in the outdoor unit of the device, only in liquid state. If the air conditioner was installed not qualitatively you can not avoid overcharging it. Freon evaporates in consequence of the incorrect pipe connection directly in the freon circuit. In a month after the installation there will be a gas leak. The unit will slowly cool the room and you will see frost on the outdoor unit. Such signs show that it is necessary to urgently charge the conditioner with freon.
After the repair of freon-line it is necessary to fill up the split-system as well. Undoubtedly during exploitation of air conditioner there appears natural gas leakage, but it is very small and reaches 6-8% per year. Therefore, if the air conditioner does not break down, it should be topped up about once every couple of years. If one does not do such things in air-conditioning system freon level becomes lower than permitted value, life period of such household equipment is shortened. Certainly, compressor will overheat, then it will burn out, and as a result split-system will need repair, and it will cost much more than refilling.
Here appears the question: how to define whether it requires topping up? You can understand it without any special devices or tools. A lack of freon indicates some decrease in the intensity of heating or cooling air, the appearance of frost or ice on the outdoor unit. If the owner of an air conditioner has seen such a sign, he should necessarily visit the service center so that his air conditioner could be charged.
Charging price usually depends on the quantity of gas that evaporated and on its brand. The safest freon is considered to be R-407C, R-410A, R-22. Such gases do not destroy ozone layer of atmosphere, they are safe for people.
When it is necessary to fill up the air conditioner
After the air conditioner is installed in the apartment, we breathe a sigh of relief. the problem with air cooling is solved. It operates well for some time, but after some time frost appears on the outer block of air conditioner, air heating or cooling is very slowly. All these symptoms say that conditioner should be charged.
At a standard installation, performed by a professional, the air conditioner does not need to be charged. Split-system is already charged with freon which is in external unit of the device in liquid condition. But if the installation is done not qualitatively or unprofessionally, there is no way to refill the air conditioner. Freon can evaporate as a result of bad pipe connection in the freon circuit. Gas leakage can occur already in a month after installation. The conditioner will slowly cool a room, and on the external unit there will be frost. These are the signs that conditioner needs freon charge.It is necessary to charge the split-system after repairing the equipment or freon-line. Certainly, while exploiting conditioner there is a natural leak of gas, but this leak is very little. It reaches 6-8 percents per year. That is why if there are no breakages of air conditioner, it is necessary to top up not less often than one time in two years. If it is not done, in the air-conditioning system freon level will be lower than allowed value, and it will shorten the term of exploitation of this home appliances. The compressor will overheat and burn out, and you will have to repair split-system, which will cost much more than refueling. And here appears the question: how to define whether it is necessary to top up the conditioner?? It can be done without any special devices. The lack of freon indicates a decrease in intensity of cooling or heating of air and the appearance of ice and frost on the outer block. As soon as an owner of air conditioner noticed one of signs, he should apply to a service center to have the system charged. Refueling cost depends on quantity of gas that has evaporated and from its brand. For this purpose they use freon R-22, R-407C, R-410A. The safest is considered to be the last listed. It does not destroy ozone layer of atmosphere and is safe for human health.
Installation of air conditioner on the old route
The main requirement to the line is that the pipes are clean inside, with no water or air. Therefore masters are approaching to the realization of the posed problem fully armed. That means that they must have a pressure gauge, vacuum pump or compressor and freon reserve of the required grade.
Dismantling the old units
If the old conditioner is in a normal technical condition, then masters do everything so that the refrigerant is pumped into the outside unit, having freed a line completely. Such air conditioner can be used in other rooms. Then a part of split-system is disconnected from a main line by unscrewing union nuts, situated on copper tubes. If the compressor in the unit has burned out, the pipes are simply disconnected and the refrigerant is vented to the outside.
- The drainage conduit is disconnected from the external unit, as well as the electrical wiring that connects it to the outside.
- The inside part is removed from a bracket that is fixed to the wall with self tapping screws through plastic plugs. Note that the old bracket may not fit the new air conditioner in terms of mounting dimensions. If it happens, it is removed and another one is installed, which comes together with a new device.
- The external unit is mounted on two brackets and is bolted to them. It is necessary to unscrew the last ones to remove the device.
- Don’t forget to disconnect electric wires from terminal box.
Some words about wires connecting external and internal parts of split-system. If at replacement instead of the old equipment the unit with the same power consumption is established, it is not necessary to change wiring. But here we need to think about something else. Wires are covered with insulation, but their long work under load reduces the operation resource. Therefore there is always a possibility that in the further operation they can fail.
Installation of new split-system
Now everything has to be done in reverse order.
- Installation of two blocks. For the internal one you need to install a new bracket.
- You should connect them to the mains and to the electric line. The drainage is connected to the inner one.
- Vacuuming. This is to pump out the air and moisture from the route, as well as dirt and dust particles. For this purpose use special vacuum pump or old compressor from the air conditioner. The equipment is connected to a main through the crane on the outside block. It is necessary to evacuate air within half an hour and then the pump is turned off. After that it is required to follow the manometer, connected to air-conditioner through a vacuum pump, for another half an hour. If the arrow fixed in one position has not moved, it means that the main system is completely tight. If it moves, it is necessary to look for the place of leakage.
- The vacuum pump is disconnected.
- Open the two valves on the external unit and let the refrigerant flow into the system. Slowly and effortlessly unscrew the valves using a wrench. A hissing sound should be heard. This is freon starts its movement and fills the system.
- As soon as hissing stops, it is possible to test split-system, having run it through all modes.
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Diagnostics after refilling
After pumping freon into the air conditioner, turn it on and watch carefully the operation of the system within a couple of hours. Overfilling may have caused abnormal operation of the unit.
If you overfilled by no more than 10%, it will not be a big problem. Will not affect performance. Overfilling more than this value will adversely affect the compressor and can lead to breakdown.
If you have changed freon, but device is still working weakly, it is worth to check pressure. You may have added less than required level. If freon level is normal and conditioner is not cooling properly, it is worth to check device itself. Most likely, the problem is in something else.
How often to clean the air conditioner
In a big city with gassy air it is necessary to clean internal block of the climate control system once in 3 months. In offices, institutions, where the unit is on during the working day, it is also often necessary to clean the outside of the air conditioner.
If you live near an industrial area or on a street with a lot of cars, you will have to clean the air conditioner in your apartment often as well. at least once a quarter.
In a country house the climatic equipment is polluted less, it is easier to take care of it.
How to know if cleaning is needed
To understand how often you need to clean your air conditioner, these signs will help:
- Unit emits a musty smell when turned on. This means that dust, dirt and bacteria are pumping into the room from clogged units together with the air.
- Increased noise level of the operating split-system. To pump the air through the clogged filters, the motor works at maximum capacity, consumes more electricity and can fail.
- Appliance does not provide achievement of set temperature for a long time. Clogged ducts let less air through, which increases cooling/heating time.
- Water is flowing out of the indoor unit. the drainage system is clogged.
In these cases, you must immediately turn off and clean the air conditioner, or it will break. It’s best to perform regular, preventive cleanings according to the manufacturer’s regulations.
What you need: cleaning products and tools
It is possible to treat the internal block of a home split-system with your own hands.
- a soft bristle brush. a toothbrush will do;
- a nonaggressive detergent. liquid soap, dishwashing gel
- A container of warm water;
- a soft cloth;
- vacuum cleaner;
- air conditioner manual.
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To avoid inhaling dust and dirt particles, wear a medical mask or respirator, and protect your hands with rubber gloves. Cover furniture and the floor under the unit with plastic wrap or oilcloth. Unplug the appliance from the socket.
How to fill it up
First, a specialist will prepare the system. With the help of nitrogen or freon it will make the air conditioner blow out. You need a soft cloth to help you dehumidify it. Then the tightness is checked. If everything is all right, the master will remove all the air from the system with the help of vacuum pump and manifold.
There are several ways of charging the air conditioner:
- By Pressure. For this purpose it is necessary to have the instruction to the device where the optimum pressure inside the system is indicated. A pressure gauge collector and freon cylinder are connected to the unit. The charge is added in small doses until the pressure gauge shows the correct value.
- By weight. It is used when it is necessary to fully replace freon. All the refrigerant is drained out of the system. The mass of gas in the cylinder is defined with the help of weights. After that the expert pumps freon up to the pre-set parameters. This is a simple and accurate way.
- Using the sight glass. The technician looks at the freon through the glass. If there are bubbles in the refrigerant the unit must be charged. The charge lasts until the flow of bubbles disappears.
Afterwards there is a check-up of the air conditioner. If there is no frost on the outside unit valves the system is primed correctly.