Hopefully, you never have to add any refrigerant to your air conditioner. Well-maintained air conditioners will rarely if ever, leak refrigerant. This means that the air conditioner will likely never need to be refilled. Still, we don’t live in a perfect world. Even the most minor issues can cause a leakage of refrigerant. Rather than ask your local air conditioner repair company to deal with it for you, you can replace the refrigerant yourself. Let’s tell you how!
Remember that there may be very slight differences between air conditioners. So, while we will give you a general guide on adding 410A refrigerant, we still suggest that you check the manual for your air conditioner to know exactly which bits and pieces need to be removed to get the liquid in there.
Check You Need To Use 410A Refrigerant
Before we tell you how to add 410A refrigerant, we do want you to double-check that your air conditioner set-up actually uses 410A refrigerant. The chances are pretty high that it does, but it is still worth checking. If you use the wrong fluid, then the entire system will seize up. If that happens, your problems are going to be much, much worse.
What You Need
We are going to assume that you already have some freon (your refrigerant), but you will also need safety equipment (gloves and a mask), as well as:
- Tap valve
- Manifold gauge (sometimes called compound gauge)
While these two pieces of kit can be fairly cheap, a lot of people will hire somebody to refill their air conditioner, just so they don’t have to.
Your air conditioner may have a tap valve included with it. Read the manual and it will tell you what you need.
Put On Your Gloves and a Mask
The refrigerant is cold. You need some protection. Wear gloves and a mask. It will help to prevent frostbite if any of that liquid comes into contact with your skin.
Turn The Air Conditioner Off At Thermostat
Your first job is to turn the air conditioner off at the thermostat. You do not want to cut the power to the air conditioner. Just make sure it is turned off at the thermostat. If you cut the power, then you won’t be able to refill the system.
Connect The Tap Valve
Connect your tap valve to the input valve on your air conditioner. As we said, you may not always need to do this. There will be two valves on the air conditioning unit. Only one of them is for refilling the refrigerant, but it should be clearly labeled.
Grab Your Manifold Gauge
Once the tap valve has been connected, connect your manifold gauge to this. You will need to use the blue tube.
Connect The Hose To Your Bottle Of Replacement Refrigerant
Now, connect the yellow tube to your bottle of replacement refrigerant.
Release The Air
Now, you need to release the air in the system (this is important if you have a leak).
To do this, turn the air conditioner on to the highest setting. Now, loosen the yellow tube for just a couple of seconds. This should force the air out.
You will need to open the valve on both the refrigerant bottle and the air conditioner.
Tighten up the yellow tube. Leave the air conditioner running at full blast. The air conditioner will now start to suck the refrigerant up from the bottle.
It will normally take around 5-minutes for the system to be refilled, although it will be dependent on how much refrigerant is leaking in the first place.
Your manifold gauge will have a pressure indicator on it. This will constantly monitor the pressure in the system. Check the manual for your air conditioning system. This will tell you the pressure that it needs to be at. In most cases,s this will correlate with the colors on the Manifold Gauge i.e. the green pressure area means that you have refilled it enough. However, it is always worth checking.
It is important to not overfill.
When you have refilled the refrigerant to the desired amount, shut off the air conditioner fan. You will want to move on to the next step immediately.
Shut The Valves and Disconnect The Tubes
Your final job is to close all of the valves and disconnect the tubes. This shouldn’t be too difficult. You are just reversing the previous process.
We want to wrap up by telling you that you need to take great care when refilling the system. In most places, it is illegal for you to cause any leakage involving refrigerant. So, that 410A needs to go into the system. Do not leak any out at all. If any is leaking, then stop the refilling process immediately. At that point, you will need to get in touch with a proper service tech who can do the job for you. They will also be able to get to the bottom of why the system is leaking in the first place.
Remember, if that leaking isn’t dealt with, you will forever be filling up the air conditioning unit, and this is going to get rather costly. It also means that the system probably isn’t working properly too, which means that your energy bills are going to be much higher. Thankfully, most leaks should be pretty cheap to have repaired.