How to replenish the Freon in your Air Conditioner

If your AC isn’t keeping you as cool as you like in these Maryland summers we provide Auto Repair in Graysonville.  If you want to find out about charging the Freon yourself, here is how:

1. Can it be recharged with Freon?

Before restoring your air conditioner to a state of being fully recharged with Freon there is something that you must check. You must make sure that your car uses the right refrigerant. Cars made after 1994 use R134 whereas many cars made before that use R12. You must first check which type your car uses. If it uses the older refrigerant than you should get it converted before continuing.

Once you have established that your car uses the right refrigerant, you may proceed. If you have had a recharge in the past.

2. Using a recharge kit for R134

Recharging the air conditioning system with Freon requires, well, Freon of course which is a pressurized refrigerant which allows the air conditioner to produce cool air. You also need a pressure gauge to monitor the amount of Freon to make sure that all of it gets into the system.

There are recharge tools used by professionals, but they usually rather expensive. If you are just trying to maintain a couple of personal vehicles and not an army of automobiles set to transform the world we know into the one witness in Cars, there are kits which usually consist of a can of Freon and a pressure gauge which can be used by anyone who needs to fix a car. This particular kit is called the all-in-one kit.

Also, don’t forget to inspect your air conditioning system for leaks.

3. Preparing the kit for a recharge

Within the kit you will find the pressure gauge, a rubber hose, and a can of Freon. You will follow the instructions provided and assemble it. Typically, the hose and the gauge will already be attached. The gauge must be screwed counterclockwise until it resists any further counterclockwise turning before being attached to the can. Once everything it attached there is a pin within the gauge which will pierce the can as the gauge is turned counterclockwise. Do not pierce that can until you are ready to use it, otherwise the earth will become a flaming ball of plasma, ok not actually, but it is best to keep the can unpierced until it is ready for use.

4. Constructing the kit

Once the pin is a safe distance from the rest of the kit, connected the gauge to the other side of the hose. There is something you must do before connecting the hose to the can. Once you have done this, you must calibrate the pressure gauge. Do this by setting the calibration dial to the ambient temperature in your vicinity. Remember to turn ensure that the coolant is not tapped on since that will produce heat and throw off the calibration.

5. Identifying the port of low pressured

The air conditioning system has both high and low pressure components. You will need to recharge your system using the port that says “L” or low pressure. The high pressure port will be labeled “H” The ports will be different size for low pressure and high pressure so connecting it to the wrong one is unlikely. Nonetheless, it is always good to check.

6. Cleaning the port of low pressure

To prevent fragments from getting into the port and damaging the air conditioning system, you should clean the outside of it before and after removing the cap. This may seem excessive, but it is better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough.

7. Pressure testing

Turn the gauge tightly clockwise before connecting the hose to the port. The hose attaches to the pressure port by a latch. Simply pull the latch back and then once release once the hose is around the pressure gauge. Once you have done all of this, start your engine and turn on the AC. Give the pressure gauge a few minutes to equalize and then you can get an accurate reading and see how much your AC system needs to be recharged. Turn off the engine before going onto the next part of this process

8. Adding refrigerant

To add refrigerant, just turn the gauge clockwise in order to use the piercing pin. Screw the gauge tightly onto the can by turning it clockwise. Do this until you hear the can rupture. Turn the gauge counter clockwise again so that the pin can be retracted.

Connect the hose attached to the can and the gauge to the low-pressure port. Now turn the engine back on and turn on the AC again. In order to release the R134 coolant in the system start slowly turning the gauge counterclockwise. The segment of the gauge indicating outside temperature will show whether it is full. More instructions can be found in the manual.

9. Concluding advice

Once you are finished recharging it, reattach the cap to prevent any debris from entering the system. The gauge can be used more than once to so hold onto it. You however will have to get a new can.