SHORT OF GAS
Air Conditioning units DO NOT require periodic re- gassing or topping up unless they have developed a gas leak. The internal gas piping on split, box and portable air conditioners is rigid copper piping which means all the joints are soldered. There is no flexible gas piping hence there is no chance of gas seepage or gas leakage through flexible piping (unlike a motor vehicle).
There are only 3 logical ways a gas leak can occur in these types of air conditioners;
- A gas pipe breaks or cracks through vibration caused due by the compressor switching on and off – this will generally only occur in the outside unit of the air conditioner.
- There are a minimum of 4 flare fittings (mechanical connections) on any split system and if one of these flare fittings were to come loose or if the flared copper pipe were to split then a gas leak can occur.
- Accidental or deliberate damage caused by a person or circumstance that results in the piercing of the copper pipe housed within the condenser coil (outside unit) or evaporator coil (inside unit).
This means if you own a split air conditioner, a box air conditioner or a portable air conditioner then you do not need to waste money on paying for a service that includes checking the gas pressure.
If an air conditioner does develop a leak then there are 2 very obvious indicators;
- The air conditioner will begin to ice up. In other words, remove the filters and look at the internal coil and if you see ice forming then you know you need to have your air conditioner seen to by a refrigeration mechanic. Another way to see icing up is to look at the 2 pipes that go into your outdoor unit and if you see one is icing up then you know there is a problem.
- The second telltale of your air conditioner having lost all its gas is that it simply does not work.
If your air conditioner is not working as well as you expect or as good as it did the day you purchased it and if you do not see the signs of icing up then the chances are your air conditioner simply requires a professional clean.