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Things To Keep In Mind For Split System Regassing

technician doing split system regassing

Regassing is quite common in the HVAC industry during the repair and maintenance of split air conditioners. While air conditioning units do not usually require regassing, older air conditioners or the ones with the incorrect installation may require a thorough check for a refrigerant leak.

Regassing is a relatively unpopular concept for a layman, but having the know-how of the process is fundamental to dealing with future situations. That is why we have crafted a blog post to let you know all about regassing.

What is a Refrigerant?

Before diving straight to the regassing part, let’s first have a brief go-through of the air conditioning refrigerant. It is a gas or fluid that exists in air conditioners and refrigerators for the purpose of cooling and heating.

Older refrigerants, like R22 and R12, have been phased out due to their role in ozone depletion. Therefore, you should check the refrigerant label on the exterior, and if it says R12 or R22, you need to upgrade. Modern air conditioning units now feature R410A or R134A refrigerants as they are safer for the environment.

What is Aircon Regassing?

Your air conditioning requires regassing whenever there is a leak. It is a key process that involves removing existing gas and refuelling with a fresh supply.

Firstly, what exactly is involved in an aircon regas? It sounds simple enough but is also a pretty ambiguous term.

Essentially it includes removing existing refrigerant from an air conditioner and replacing it with a fresh supply.

The removal process is called evacuating the system. Usually, it’s only needed if there is a gas leak.

It also never involves “topping up” the gas. You cannot just add refrigerant to an existing supply. It needs to be replaced entirely.

An experienced air conditioning technician will also investigate any leaks during the job and provide an appropriate repair. Throughout the whole visit, they will run tests to ensure there are no lingering issues.

Signs of a Refrigerant Leak

The cause of a refrigerant leak is either damage to the pipe or natural wear and tear. Alongside poor workmanship in the past, it’s the only real reason why a technician would need to perform an aircon regas.

If there is a gas leak, the most obvious signs are:

  • Warm air comes out of the air con when it should be cold
  • Hissing or bubbling from the external copper pipes
  • A build-up of ice on air con pipes

While the signs of a leak are easy enough to spot, you will probably miss them if you don’t look in the first place. Your external air conditioning unit could be in a hard-to-reach spot.

Metropolitan Air Conditioning can take care of that for you. As a part of our regular maintenance and air conditioning services, we will inspect every element of the system.

Our local technicians will instantly be aware of any poor performance, or damaged pipes.

During our all-season services, we can clean out filters, coils and motors, and inspect all pipes to get your air-con running smoothly.

Why Car Aircon Regas Is Different

When it comes to your car, it will likely have an aircon regas included in a service every few years. But your split system certainly doesn’t need one so often. Why?

Well, it comes down to the materials used.

Pipes, seals and other parts in a car’s air conditioning system are often rubber or plastic. Over time they become more porous and refrigerant leaks through. Add in daily bumping and grinding while driving and there’s a fairly unsettled environment.

In stark contrast, your home’s cooling is settled. Ducted cooling doesn’t jostle around in a tight engine. The pipes are also copper and far stronger. So are the seals. Even though you can expect to see some wear and tear after about 5 years, there’s far more stability for the refrigerant.


The Phase Out of Refrigerant R22

While you may never have to worry about booking in an aircon regas job, there is one last bit of information to take note of.

R22 refrigerant, or Freon, is on its last legs.

Under the Montreal Protocol, R22 has been classified as an ozone-depleting substance and phased out.

For many years it was the main refrigerant used in air conditioning. Now it can only be imported for use in pre-existing air conditioners. As of 2030, all R22 imports will be banned.

What does that mean for you? Right now not a lot. Less than 17 per cent of air conditioning and refrigeration units in Australia use R22. And if they do it has to be recycled or reclaimed.

New systems use more environmentally compatible refrigerants. Because of this, the Government recommends air conditioning upgrades to more efficient units which are also far cheaper to run.

Metropolitan Air Conditioning is also committed to environmentally friendly practices. We are here to help out with any aircon regas, or air conditioner installation.

If you want to upgrade or service an existing system, just contact us for more information, or to book a visit from your local air con technician.


Do Split Systems Need Regassing?

Different factors might lead you to hire a professional HVAC service provider for regassing your aircon unit. Let’s go through them.

Faulty Manufacturing

Manufacturing faults in cheaper brands often lead to refrigerant leaks in air conditioning units. The fault can sometimes occur in reputable brands, but the chances are low.

Therefore, we always advise our clients to invest in leading Australian brands like Daikin, Mitsubishi and Rinai.

Faulty Installation

Your new air conditioner unit does not need regassing unless non-professionals have done the installation. Such technicians are inexperienced and lack knowledge, and the need for regassing may arise if the pipe connections are not tightened up properly.

A split system air conditioning comprises four connections — two on the indoor part and two on the outside. A faulty welding job during installation may result in a gradual gas leak. A gas leak may also occur if the pipe connections are not flared and torqued properly.

Therefore, it is advised to look for a professional and licensed service provider, like Surrey Air, to do the installation job. We have qualified technicians who use appropriate tools and have the technical knowledge to perform the job without cutting corners.

Age of the Air Conditioner

On average, air conditioners on the market can last 10 to 15 years. However, with time, air conditioning units age and receive wear and tear and cracks that may lead to gas leakage in the system. In this case, if your air conditioning unit is more than 15 years old, we recommend getting a complete replacement instead of fueling it with refrigerant.

How to Tell if your Split System Needs Regassing

We often get this query “how to tell if your split system needs regassing?” Well, there are a few telltale signs that show a low gas level, such as:

  • Each of your air conditioning unit’s components functions well, but the temperature does not cool down is a sign of low gas levels
  • Indoor coils start to freeze up, indicating low refrigerant levels
  • The copper pipe work on the right side of the outdoor unit also starts freezing up, which indicates that there is a need for regassing

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