Freon is a coolant that is added to air conditioners, refrigerators and other appliances and machines that require a refrigerant. It is made of non-toxic and non-flammable compound that forms part of several chlorofluorocarbons that had been in use since its invention in 1928. If your air conditioning unit is not giving off enough cool air as it should, or the coils have ice build up, it could be that the Freon circulating in its coils is already depleted or needs topping up. There are regulations to be followed when handling Freon and you should observe them. Below are the steps on how to add Freon to a window air conditioner unit.
- Take out the owner’s manual for your air conditioning unit and check what type of coolant your air conditioner will take. Your unit will not work properly if you add a different type of coolant to it. Most home air conditioners use R22, which is sold in small cans. You need to buy a Freon kit.
Be sure to wear the proper safety gear when adding Freon. You should protect your eyes and your hands as well as your lungs. After all Freon is still a gas compound.
- Remove the air conditioner from your window and place it on a flat surface where you have easy access to running water. Clean the coils first as dust and grime can also cause the air conditioner to not work properly. Remove the louvers as well as the air filter and hose it down to remove dust that clogs the filter. Remove excess water from the filter and allow it to dry. Clean the louvers as well. Assemble everything and re-install your unit. Do not connect it to the power supply first.
- Locate the compressor of the air conditioning unit. This is a cylindrical tank with two lines attached to it. Remove the two valves from the Freon kit. One of the valves is the service valve, which is easy to identify, as this is the bigger of the two. The smaller valve will be the tap valve. Your Freon kit will have instructions on how to attach these valves to the two lines on the unit’s compressor.
- Once the valves are correctly attached to the two lines based on the Freon kit instructions, take out the Freon container. Attach the air conditioner to the power source and set it to the highest level when you have turned it on. This will ensure that the unit will be able to suck in the Freon from the outside canister. The canister of Freon should be attached to the two valves that you have connected to the two main lines in the compressor. The Freon kit will have the instructions on how to attach the canister properly. The air conditioner will then be able to draw the coolant into the coils.
- Monitor your air conditioning unit. You will notice the change in air temperature as the Freon is drawn in. Once the unit has taken in all the Freon turn it off and unplug it. You can now remove the Freon canister and the two valves that you have attached. Seal the two main lines on the compressor.
If you are not a certified refrigeration mechanic do not attempt to do this yourself, as there are EPA regulations to be followed when handling Freon. There are also home air conditioning units that require professional servicing. Oftentimes most of the malfunctions that occur with home air conditioners are due to dirty coils and air filters that are clogged with dirt. Make sure that these are kept clean as well check that the fan motor is working properly before you attempt to add Freon.