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How to fill up the air conditioner with your own hands from the cylinder

Do-it-Yourself Air Conditioner Refills Manual

After reading this article you will be able to refill your own household air conditioner. Below we will describe the entire process and provide a list of tools you need to purchase. Let’s introduce you to the necessary basic concepts in air conditioning. The article is written for an average air conditioner user who wants to save his money or has no possibility to call a master. We don’t fill air conditioners as described in this article, but we will describe how to get quick results. coolness in the house. In any case, in order to get the most efficient operation of the split system you should call a master!

All necessary tools are sold in specialized stores of refrigeration equipment. You do not need to take the products of famous brands. they are necessary for frequent work, take Chinese analogues, it will be enough.

The list of necessary tools for filling up the conditioner

  • Filling hose. 2 pieces;
  • Manometer of low pressure. 1 piece;
  • One liter bottle with freon R410 or R22, depending on what your split-system is designed for.

Connection scheme

Hose end is connected to a cylinder neck and the end to nipple of low pressure manometer. To connector of manometer the end of the hose, the second end of a hose under number 4 to connector of low pressure of the external unit of the conditioner. Screw in spools only from hand, until they are tight.

To charge conditioner with your own hands is not difficult at all, the main thing is to approach to it attentively and accurately.

Device of air conditioner

The air conditioning system performs the following functions:

  • It cools and maintains the optimum temperature mode;
  • prevents the windows in the cab from fogging up;
  • maintains the optimum humidity;
  • cleans air flowing into the salon from exhaust gases and unpleasant smells.

As any equipment, air conditioner requires technical service. If not to carry out in time a service consisting of a number of cleaning, charging repair and other works, the device will not function properly. One of the types of work is air conditioner cleaning and filling.

Filling, cleaning and repair of autoconditioners is included in the service of any auto service center, but you can save on servicing of your car, if you do it yourself. In order to fill up correctly, it is necessary first of all to know the structure of an air conditioner.

By its construction the air conditioner is similar to the construction of any cooling unit.

Car air conditioner consists of the following elements:

Arrangement of a car air conditioner

As a refrigerant, as in other cooling devices, the air conditioning system uses freon.

The principle of operation of the air conditioner is as follows. All elements included in the set are connected in a closed circuit by means of lines. Through one of the pipelines freon moves under low pressure and through the other one. under high pressure. The compressor of the air conditioner is driven by a motor. In the compressor, the freon in gaseous state is compressed, its temperature increases and the pressure rises. Freon travels through the high-pressure line to the condenser.

The hot refrigerant enters the condenser. When it reaches the condenser, it is rapidly cooled, condenses and becomes liquid. In such condition it gets to the control valve. Use it to regulate the flow of refrigerant to the evaporator, where the temperature is adjusted to normal. The more Freon enters the evaporator, the more heat will be withdrawn from the salon.

The freon evaporates and as a cold gas and through the low pressure line it enters the compressor again. After that the process repeats.

Equipment for Filling

Masters of service station practice several ways of refilling automobile conditioners. Motorist. a beginner in garage conditions only one method is available. complete replacement with pouring a new portion of refrigerant by weight. For work it is necessary to rent a set of equipment and devices:

  • A vacuum pump equipped with a check valve;
  • pressure gauge station with two blue and yellow filling hoses;
  • electronic scales of floor or table design (kitchen scales showing the mass with the accuracy of 1 gram can do);
  • Adapter for service port (nozzle) of specific car model;
  • Oil injector. a small container connected to the filling hose.

Note. The cost of renting a set of equipment, used for refueling of refrigerators, starts from 1000 per day. The refrigerant and oil are bought separately.


In order to fill up the automobile climatic installation oneself, it is necessary to find out the quantity and brand of freon to be filled up. As a rule, these data are contained in the instruction manual of the machine plus there is a nameplate or sticker under the hood. Specifies 2 characteristics. make and weight of refrigerant in the system. Accordingly, it is necessary to buy the required amount of gas, taking into account the 5-10% reserve!for purging and contingent losses.

Freon R134a that has replaced more dangerous and harmful gas of R12 mark is used in the overwhelming majority of modern transport means. Injector lubrication of the compressor dissolves during the refrigerant charge. You will need 30 ml of special polyalkylene glycol oil (PAG abbreviation on the package).

Causes of leakage

For the product to work properly the freon volume in an air conditioner should be sufficient for constant circulation. Unfortunately, the leakage still occurs during the operation, and the following reasons can be blamed.

  • Imperfection of the construction. copper pipes with freon circulating are unrolled in place during the installation, that is why there are insignificant losses in the process of exploitation. It is necessary to charge the air conditioner with freon with the lapse of time.
  • During the transportation of a before installed product freon in a conditioner can a little bit reduce in volume and the same nuances can settle while the disassembly and reinstallation. Therefore, it is necessary to pump freon into the air conditioner at the new place of installation.

When the product is regularly serviced, timely cleaned, there is no excessive evaporation of the refrigerant, the only negative is its leakage through the joints.

Many users are sure that it is impossible to fill up the conditioner with your own hands, but such very doubtful rumors are supported by service specialists, in order not to lose their earnings. Yes, you will need specific equipment, but it is not a problem in our progressive age.

Top off options

Statistics asserts that any product of a climatic class loses 8% from the initial charging for a year at operation, therefore once in 2 years it is necessary to charge a split-system with freon. Whether you will do it yourself or invite a specialist, it is a separate question. It is necessary to charge the air conditioner and in that case if it gives a little bit less temperature than you have established on the display, the pressure should be constant inside the system and the amount of the refrigerant plays a major role in this.

Very important! Lack of refrigerant volume does not allow normal operation of the unit and excessive pressure is a sure cause of an unexpected compressor failure.

There are two basic methods of topping up the air conditioner with freon.

  • According to the degree of pressure. In order to define the quantity of volatile gas for charging, it is necessary to know optimal pressure, specified in manual, compare it with pressure in conditioning system, which is shown by connected manifold. As a rule, this method of charging the air conditioner by pressure, is carried out in case of a Freon leak due to long-term operation.
  • By weight. This method is used for complete replacement of the refrigerant: firstly it is pumped out of the system, and then with the help of electronic scales, knowing the weight of gas, pumped into the cylinder, the split-system is charged with freon.

There is a method with the help of measuring glass, but they are used for charging of air conditioner with the refrigerant very seldom, only after realized repair. If in a special observation window air bubbles are detected, freon is not pumped until they disappear from the system.

R-600a (Isobutane)

This refrigerant is most commonly used in domestic refrigerators. But R600a is also used in household air conditioners. Because it is flammable, it is not commonly used. In some countries (e.g., USA) its use in household appliances is prohibited.

Due to refusal of R134a, R600a will be used more often. The characteristics of isobutane are somewhat worse, but it has a number of advantages:

  • GWP is 3 (475 times less);
  • Low cost;
  • High energy efficiency;
  • There are no harmful emissions from production of R600a.

Methods to control the amount of Freon

Finding out how to charge the split system with freon by yourself one should remember that the quantity of the refrigerant must be sufficient, but not excessive. If there is too much gas in the circuit, the operation of the unit will be seriously disrupted, because the refrigerant will simply not have time to evaporate. It can seriously damage the compressor.

This situation is worse for the device than having a few grams of refrigerant missing from the system. Therefore, during charging it is necessary to organize control of freon quantity entering the system.

  • by measuring the change in mass of the refrigerant cylinder;
  • Given the pressure in the system, which must reach a certain value;
  • Evaluating the condition of the circuit through the sight glass;
  • Considering the change in temperature of the indoor unit fan.

The simplest way to control the quantity of freon is to register the change of cylinder weight. For this purpose before charging, the container with the refrigerant is put on scales, they zero the result and observe the indices change with the cylinder crane open.

As soon as its weight is reduced by the required value, refueling is immediately stopped. Of course, this method is only used for complete charging of the circuit. If the system just needs to be topped up, it is necessary to know beforehand the weight of the refrigerant that is already inside, and it is difficult to do it at home.

There are professional scales designed for this purpose, but many masters make do with inexpensive household models.

The unit must meet the following requirements:

It is more convenient to use electronic scales, by which it is easier to track changes of weight of the container with the refrigerant.

Another option available is to bring the pressure inside the circuit to the desired value. In order to accomplish such charging, you will need a pressure gauge manifold. With the help of this device the pressure inside the system is estimated.

Refrigerant is fed to the circuit in small portions, constantly checking the pressure information against the standard value until a match is reached.

Before charging the system with the refrigerant it is necessary to find out why there is a leakage and then eliminate the found problems. The second check is made after the end of the work

The manifold is a rather expensive piece of equipment and does not make sense to buy it only to use it once in several years. It is useful not only at the stage of pumping freon, but also during dehumidification and evacuation of the system. It is possible to borrow such a device from a familiar craftsman or rent one from a specialized shop.

The method with the use of the sight glass is available for professionals. It consists of observing the state of the refrigerant flow by tracing the moment when the air bubbles disappear from it. At home the first two methods are often used.

Measuring the temperature is a simple but not very reliable method. The fan when the circuit is full, the temperature should usually be about eight degrees, although there are models for which this figure is five, a deviation of a couple of degrees is allowed. The refrigerant is introduced in small portions, periodically taking measurements.

Pressure gauge

In this case, the sequence of operations remains the same, but the freon cylinder is not placed on the scales, and the supply is not a continuous flow, but in portions. System pressure is monitored with a manifold pressure gauge. Continue feeding until nominal pressure is reached.

The pressure in the system depends on the temperature. The optimum values are indicated in the technical documentation or in a table on the nameplate of the unit. If necessary, it is easy to calculate corrections for a particular temperature value using table data.

According to the pressure it is possible to refill the system. After the pressure gauge manifold is connected, the gauge shows the current refrigerant pressure. The charging from the bottle is done until the nominal value is reached.

Filling by measuring glass

Used, as a rule, by the specialists of the service center. The refrigerant is added to the system until the freon displaces the air from the system pipelines. This is indicated by the absence of gas bubbles (their presence is monitored through the inspection window). Then the excess pressure is bled off to the nominal value.

The method is based on the difference between the temperature in the circuit and the boiling point of the refrigerant. To work:

  • Turn on the unit.
  • Install an electronic thermometer on the gas pipe. It shows the temperature of freon in the circuit.
  • Determine boiling point of the refrigerant by reading the manometer on the manifold.
  • Calculate the difference. Exceeding the limit of 5-8 o C indicates insufficient Freon and the need to refill. Open the valve on the bottle, open a little the manifold’s liquid valve to bleed off air (time. not more than 1 second).
  • Open manifold’s gas valve.
  • Measure temperature and pressure in the system, calculate temperature difference.
  • Continue until the difference is within 5 to 8 degrees Celsius.
  • Close manifold gas valve.
  • Close the valve on the bottle.
  • Disconnect the manifold.
  • Close the service connection.

Diagnose equipment

The use of Freon in refrigeration and air conditioning systems is indispensable today. And it is quite natural that after full or partial charging of the refrigerant into the air conditioner, it is necessary to make a thorough diagnostics of the equipment and check it for tightness of connecting joints and efficiency of the whole installation.

These actions will help to avoid the refrigerant leakage because of the loose joints and increase the efficiency of the whole installation. Sometimes it happens so that effectiveness of air conditioner’s work after refuelling is not restored. Although the system itself works properly. In this case it is possible that some breakages could happen inside the device.

Freon-free air conditioner

In Ukraine, a group of engineers from the center of air technologies has created a climate system that has no analogues on the world market. Air conditioner, in which the refrigerant is air, is much cheaper in terms of energy costs, and air is the most readily available substance. In comparison with usual domestic systems, which blow air from the room through itself, ACS. air climate system. is able to ventilate the room all the time. This makes it possible to install such a system in large centers. sports, leisure centers, which have special standards for the amount of fresh air per hour per person.

The absence of freon or any lubricants makes such a system environmentally friendly.

Temperatures at which the device is able to operate, ranging from minus 50 degrees to plus 50. In winter, in heating mode, the system diverts cold air into the atmosphere. In summer, warm masses are used for simultaneous free water heating in the pool, showers. This reduces the cost by a factor of 3 to 4.

  • quick installation;
  • Cheap repair;
  • Small dimensions and weight of the construction;
  • The necessary temperature is reached in the shortest terms;
  • the quality of operation of the system does not depend on the ambient temperature.

The air-handling unit allows all standards for indoor air quality and ozone safety to be taken into account.

preparatory works

Before you charge your auto air conditioner you must clearly determine the type and volume of the refrigerant you need. This is simple.

If your car was made before 1992, it is worth to use Freon type R-12.

Since 1993, the manufacturers of automobiles have been pumping freon R-134a. The reason is a ban on the use of R-12.

The owners of cars manufactured in 92-93th years can have difficulties only because not all producers at once passed to R-134a during transition period.

To receive more exact information, attentively study a sticker on the inside of a hood (this data is usually specified there).


The second variant. it is possible to recognize freon type by a connector. In the new models of automobile conditioners which are working with R-134a, the connector has bigger height and diameter.

As to refrigerant charging norms, they are specified on the plate we spoke above.

Besides, it is possible to learn this information from the expert or in the instruction.

The average rate for domestic cars is about 500-1000 grams.

Procedure of work performance

So, to fill up the air conditioner we need a special kit. It includes a metering station, adapter, hoses, taps and a cylinder of freon.

Instead of using a dial gauge station, a test connection can be used.

Proceed as follows:

If there is no adapter in the set (it happens quite often), you can buy it separately.

  • 4. After assembling the equipment for charging, calibrate the pressure meter. This can be done with the calibration wheel by adjusting the ambient air temperature.

It is desirable to check with an accurate device (for example, an on-board computer).

  • 5. Find your fitting. It is not difficult to do. Modern auto conditioners have two positions. high and low pressure. Charging is always done from the low pressure side.

It is impossible to make a mistake here, because the nozzles have different diameters of inlets.

Some manufacturers label the caps with different colors. For example, low pressure connector is black (letter H) and high pressure connector is blue.

  • 6. Clean the area around the low pressure fitting well and remove the cap. Remember that dirt penetration into an air conditioner is inadmissible.
  • 7. Put the hose on top.
  • 8. Start the engine and crank it up to 1500 rpm. If you have a helper. ask him to hold the accelerator pedal in one position, and if not, fix it with a small stick.
  • 9. Turn air recirculation to the maximum limit, tear off the high pressure tap, turn the cylinder with freon upside down and slowly open the valve.
  • 10. Monitor the system pressure at all times. The maximum limit is 285 kPa.
  • 11. After a while cold air begins to flow into the cabin, and the hose itself at the junction with the connector and it becomes icy.

Once the air temperature reaches 5-7 degrees Celsius, the valve can be turned off.

In this case we have 10.7 degrees Celsius, so another bottle is needed.

We would like to note separately that presence of water and air in the system is inadmissible. For example, moisture can turn to ice in winter and block the control valve.

Do not forget that the presence of water in the system can cause rust. Dangerous for the system air, which has absolutely different qualities, than nitrogen.

As a consequence, the load on the compressor increases, and the unit can fail faster. To remove air and water from the system, before charging a special pump is connected. This process is called vacuuming.

Remove air from the system with a special pump.

Equipment and materials for work

If you want to realize independent refueling of split-system at home buy or better rent a small set of equipment:

  • Two-stage vacuum pump equipped with non-return valve
  • Manometric manifold with sight glass and hose set;
  • electronic floor scales;
  • horn wrenches and hexahedrons sized 5-8 mm (you can probably find them in your household).

Note. Pump models equipped with a non-return valve do not “drop” their own oil inside the refrigerant lines during operation.

Then choose correctly freon for a conditioner, taking into consideration factory nameplate on external unit or cooler user manual. Refrigerant brand and charging norm, expressed in kilograms (or grams), are given in the table.

Use a simple guideline when selecting the type of refrigerant:

  • Buy the freon listed on the label, other brands will not work. Two-component gas R410а is most widespread, R22 or R134a (in automobiles) are rarer. R12 refrigerant is considered obsolete and has therefore been discontinued.
  • When renting a pressure gauge manifold, it is obligatory to report the kind of a refrigerant used. it is impossible to use the device and hoses working with freon R22 for charging of R410a gas, because different oils are added to them. on mineral and synthetic basis correspondingly.
  • For connection of manometric station to service ports of split-system, working with R410a refrigerant, the special adapter is used.
  • Provide extra weight for the refrigerant. It takes about 50 grams to purge the hoses, plus 30 grams for each extra meter of line if they are longer than 3 meters.
  • For most air conditioners installed in apartments, 1 kg of Freon is enough. Can be rented together with a bottle or bought in a separate container.

Some types of cylinders have a built-in siphon, shown in the diagram. These tanks do not need to be inverted for the liquid refrigerant charge. Consult the seller or your landlord about the type of cylinder.

Clarification. Cylinders charged with R410a gas are colored in pink, freon R22. in green.

There is a specialized electronic device that detects minor defects in pipes and connections. a freon leak detector. If cooling efficiency has decreased, but there are no obvious leaks in the air conditioner, the meter can help you find a fistula the size of a human hair. If necessary, the device can be rented, it is expensive and pointless to buy.

Cost savings compared to calling a handyman

Knowing the need for materials and equipment, it is not difficult to calculate how profitable it is to refill the air conditioner, carried out with your own hands. The cost of renting is taken from the Internet resources of companies offering this service in the region:

  • vacuum pump manifold with hoses. 700 per day (12.5 у. е.);
  • A complete set, including gas cylinder, gauge station and pump. from 1000 / day (18 u. s.). е.);
  • The most expensive type of Freon is R410a. 650 per 0.6 kg (12 yu. е.).

Note. are taken as of March 1, 2018. The brackets indicate the equivalent in terms of units, since the cost of service changes over time.

Let’s take into account more expensive variant. rent of the equipment plus purchase of freon: 700 650 = 1350 (24.5 у. е.). The minimum cost of charging split systems, declared by different companies, is 2000 (35 u.s.). е.). The benefit of doing it yourself refueling is not too great. 650 or 10.5 у. е.

  • In order to rent equipment and appliances, you need to spend your personal time.
  • quoted online may be understated to attract customers or simply outdated.
  • Often the firm charges additional expenses for the trip or invoices for each job separately. vacuumization, diagnostics and refueling.
  • There is a chance that the “cheap” craftsmen will do a poor job, and a year later the refrigerant will evaporate again.
  • The cost of renting electronic scales is not considered. Tabletop kitchen scales designed to measure weights up to 20 kg with an accuracy of 1 gramme can be used.

Hence the conclusion: correctly made self-injection of freon is preferable to the treatment in the company providing services at underestimated price. The work of experienced specialists is expensive.

Full instructions on how to charge home air conditioners

Good day to all! Today in the article we will talk about charging the split system. During its operation or just after low-quality installation it is possible to find out refrigerant (freon) lack in the system. If the cause of the leakage is a factory defect (leaky radiator of the internal or external unit), it usually manifests itself during the installation of the unit. If there is no factory defect, there are only two main causes of leakage:

    The first cause is installation errors (about 80% of all leaks). often it is connected with low-quality rolling of copper tubes. In such a case, the cause of the leak must be found and repaired before the “condenser” can be charged;

  • the second reason is a natural leakage (if I can put it that way). Though by theory refrigerant circuit should be hermetic. Even with expensive models it is possible that some refrigerant will escape through connections and service valves.

Charging process of air conditioner with the refrigerant is not long, but it requires attentiveness, cautiousness and understanding of the whole process. The slightest mistake while loading freon can cause serious damage of split-system. And you can get hurt yourself. So I STRONGLY DO NOT HELP THAT ON YOURSELF WITHOUT AN AC DEVELOPMENT.

Filling up the split system

Let’s imagine that the cause of the leak has been found and repaired. Now it is necessary to fulfill a full loading of air conditioner. What we need to do:

  • Bleed the rest of the freon in the system. To do this on the external unit unscrew the nuts of the copper tubes counterclockwise.
  • When all the gas is drained, we screw the nuts with tubes back on.
  • Connect the LEFT hose of the manometer to the connector of the external unit (where the tube of big diameter goes). Connect middle hose of manometer to vacuum pump. Open both taps on the outdoor unit with a hexagon to allow the air to be evacuated from the whole system (from the indoor and outdoor unit and from the pipes).
  • Start the pump and open the LEFT cock on the manometer (counterclockwise).
  • Wait a few minutes until the air is “pumped out”. For small air conditioners (up to 2,7 kW. power) and a short “route” (up to 5 meters), wait 8 to 10 minutes.
  • At the end of “pumping out” air we shut off the LEFT valve of the manometer, and immediately after that we turn off the pump. Look at the gauges (the needle should be at “-1”).
  • Then disconnect the MEDIUM gauge hose from the pump and connect it to a cylinder of freon.
  • Open tap on cylinder, turn it upside down and put it on the scale. So that the refrigerant is pumped in a liquid state.
  • Open for a few seconds the RIGHT stopcock of the manometer (about 3-5 seconds, until the liquid freon comes out). To squeeze out the air from the pressure gauges, so that it does not get into the air conditioner afterwards.
  • Finally, let’s move on to pumping the refrigerant. Find the right amount of freon on the nameplate of the air conditioner. Reset the scales. Then periodically open left crane of manometer and control freon amount (which is using weights). When required freon weight is filled up, close the LEFT stop-cock of manometer.
  • Then we close the valve on the freon cylinder. Bleed the rest of the Freon from the manometer by opening the RIGHT stopcock of the manometer.
  • Disconnect LEFT pressure gauge hose from air conditioner connector. Warning. here it is necessary to be SUPER careful and to unscrew hose VERY FAST so as not to burn with freon (it is obligatory to wear gloves). Even the experts with experience can suffer in this operation.

In modern air conditioners three kinds of freon are used. R410 multicomponent freon replaces R22 (ozone-depleting). Then came the freon R32. One of the components of 32 and 410 freons is more volatile. If they leak, the composition of the refrigerant changes. To provide ideal composition of these freons does not exclude complete refueling. While the old R22 can be simply topped up.

In the process of work with freon it is necessary to observe safety precautions, careless actions can lead to serious burns. If you are not confident in your abilities, do not undertake this task. Leave your Комментарии и мнения владельцев if this article was helpful! I recommend to watch this video which shows the whole process of charging.



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