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How is AC gas filling done? The complete guide

Remember, Air conditioner refrigerant is toxic and can cause frostbite, so, please take the below-mentioned precautions before you begin with AC gas filling.

Safety measures:

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Equipment Required

Procedure for AC gas filling

Note: The AC refrigerant gas is filled in small amounts at a time because releasing all the gas at once will damage the compressor.


Types of AC gases

Did you know that every air conditioner does not work with a common refrigerant? Following are some of the common refrigerants used in air conditioners today:

  1. R410A – commonly known as Puron (its brand name). R410A is used in all the latest air conditioners now. It is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) and does not affect the ozone layer. R410A became the new standard for U.S. residential air conditioning systems back in 2015.
  2. R22 – commonly known as Freon (its brand name). It is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), thus contributes in ozone layer depletion. R22 was discontinued for use in residential air conditioners due to their harmful effects on the environment.

Performance difference between R22 and R410A

R410A has better heat transfer efficiency, thus the AC unit has to do lesser work for the similar amount of cooling, which translates to a better life of the air conditioning unit. R410A works at a higher pressure than R22, so don’t fill an R22 compatible AC  with R410A because the compressor will just…explode.

On a side note, R22 is has been phased out from use in residential air conditioners. These days, many manufacturers are providing conversion kits for older ACs to make them R410A compatible. While this a safe upgrade, but not reliable in the long run. Upgrading is also very expensive (almost half of the cost of a new AC). Thus, it is a better idea to buy a new R410A compatible air conditioner.

Reasons for AC gas Leakage

  1. Manufacturing defect: every manufacturing process isn’t 100% free of errors, even more so if humans are involved in putting together the unit. There are multiple joints and welds which could cause a leak if they’re not made with high precision. If there are manufacturing defects in the AC, leakage will occur during the initial stages of use and thus can be repaired under warranty.
  2. Incorrect installation: vital part of AC installation includes making flare nut connections and bending the copper pipes, which ironically are the most common areas of refrigerant leak. To avoid this, flare nuts should be sealed with teflon tape, and copper pipes should only be bent via a tube bender (copper pipes are soft, and easily develop sharp bends if the force applied on it is concentrated in a small area).
  3. Regular wear and tear: Air conditioners are pressurized units. With time the bolts and joints can become weak and develop a leak.

Now you know everything about AC gas refilling, the types of gases used, the precautions to take to avoid gas leakage in future! If you have any doubts, please feel free to comment in the section below.

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