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Does my air conditioner need regassing?

Is your aircon blowing warm air? Or can you see ice building up on the system? Perhaps you hear strange noises coming from your outdoor unit. If you notice any of these signs, chances are you could require aircon regassing.

Home AC’s generally do not require regassing. Why?

Air conditioning installers use special tools to seal the pipe connections. After installation, the system is tested and checked for leaks so there are less chances of refrigerant leaks. However, leaks can arise due to age of the system or faulty installation. If the pipes are damaged or the pipe connections are not tight enough, you may need to book an aircon regas service.

What happens during an air conditioning regas service?

In regassing, the old refrigerant gas is removed from the system and replaced with new refrigerant gas.

Your system will be tested to ensure the components are working properly and the damaged parts are replaced before regassing is done. The system will be tested again to ensure the pipes are sealed, and the system is working as expected.

Signs of a Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant leaks are harmful to your health and the environment. Watch out for the following signs:

  • Aircon is blowing warm air and fails to keep the room cool despite running for hours.
  • You can hear a hissing or bubbling sound coming from the outdoor unit.
  • You can see a build-up of ice on aircon pipes.

If you're in Brisbane and your air conditioner is showing any of these signs, call in the experts at All Purpose Air Conditioning.

Does your aircon need regassing?
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How does Refrigerant Gas work?

A refrigerant is a substance that releases and absorbs heat to provide cooling. It is commonly used in refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers and cars. It changes its state from liquid to gas and back to liquid.

When you turn on the aircon the refrigerant, which moved around the unit through the copper pipes and coils, will absorb indoor heat. By doing this it will change its state from a high-pressure gas to a low-pressure liquid. The liquid is pumped to the outdoor unit where the heat is released outside. The refrigerant is compressed, which reduces the temperature and returns it to its gaseous state. The cooled refridgerant is then delivered back indoors and the cycle continues.

Commonly Used Refrigerants

The commonly used refrigerants are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs) like R22 and R410A. CFCs are ozone-depleting gases and harm the environment.

Comparatively, R410 is a cleaner gas and doesn’t contribute to global warming. The newer air conditioning systems use R410A - they are cheaper to run and safer for the environment.

R22 Phase Out in Australia

According to the Department of Energy, Australia has phased out the imports of HCFCs including R22.

81% of air conditioners use R-134a and R-410a while the use of R22 continues to decline and accounts for a mere 17% of refrigerant use

From 1 January 2020, the bulk import of R22 can only be used for servicing existing air conditioners and refrigerant equipment. If you have an old aircon experts advise that you update to a new air conditioner as they will have a low leakage rate, require a smaller refrigerant charge and will be cheaper to run. Plus, R22 equipment will become harder to source in the near future.

From 2030, production and bulk imports of R22 will be banned completely in Australia. Reclaimed R22 will only be allowed to be used to service air conditioners and must meet the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure its quality.

Can refrigerant be retrofitted?

Older air conditioning systems are not designed to handle R410A. Some systems can be retrofitted but it will require major changes and upgrades can be as expensive as buying a new aircon. The conversion may also completely damage the system so avoid retrofitting your old system.

Replace your old aircon with a new system which will have advanced features, high-efficiency and will be safer for the environment. If you are in Brisbane and are ready for a new aircon, we can help you with the installation. We provide all styles of air conditioners from the major brands.

Home vs Car Air Conditioning Regassing

Unlike home air conditioners, car air conditioners require regassing regularly. That’s because cars have plastic or rubber pipes, the seals are different and the air conditioning system is not stable enough. Also, cars are exposed to the elements and because of the daily grinding, wear and tear, regassing car aircon is essential. Compared to a car air conditioning system, home AC’s have a stable environment, the copper pipes are strong and sealed to prevent refrigerant leaks.

References

Phase Out of R22

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