Can You Recharge a Window Air Conditioner – 2 Best Methods

Are you tired of frequently replacing your portable AC after it fails to work effectively? Here’s one of the best hacks that will help you save on the costs of regularly buying a new AC. This article will help you understand if you can revive a window air conditioner and how to do it. 

Can You Recharge a Window Air Conditioner?

Yes, You can recharge a window air conditioner with refrigerant and make it work just as before. But this is after identifying the root cause of the problem. Usually, a window air conditioner with a low refrigerant level will work but not as before, resulting in poor cooling effects. 

To check the temperature difference, use a digital thermometer to measure the temperature of your window AC airflow and that of the room. Then calculate the temperature difference between your room and the window AC output airflow. If the difference is between 10-20 degrees, it’s refrigerant leakage. 

A difference below 10 degrees is an indication of serious problems more than a leak. 

How to Recharge a Window Air Conditioner – Best Methods

Doing this isn’t challenging, especially if you’ve used HVAC refrigerant, but you need to learn how to recharge a window air conditioner to avoid errors. You can do this using two different ways; the technology method or the quick backyard method. 

Most homeowners prefer using the low-cost backyard method to recharge their window air conditioners. However, it’s recommended to use the technology method although it’s involving.

Materials Needed to Recharge a Window Air Conditioner

  • Screwdriver
  • Leak detector
  • Freon kit
  • Gloves
  • Refrigerant
  • Protective eyeglasses
  • Parts required
  • Bullet valve
  • HVAC gauges or recharge hose

Charge a Window Air Conditioner Using the Backyard Quick Method

  • Attach the bullet valve to the low-pressure line. 

Before you get a bullet valve, remember that the service port of window air conditioners can’t be fixed easily in a low-cost bullet valve. When attaching a bullet valve, use an Allen wrench to fasten the screws on it. Allen wrench contains a piercing valve that goes through the line.  

  • Secure the refrigerant to the hose. 

You will know the type of refrigerant for your windows air conditioner by reading the labels on it. The newer ACs use R410a. However, some people use R134a for their systems. 

Be careful not to mix the refrigerant since each window conditioner has a specially designed refrigerant, and no system can use mixed-medium refrigerant. The oils used on HVAC also vary, and the wrong choice can spoil the compressor and other delicate parts. Use the refrigerant recommended by your manufacturer. 

  • Then secure the recharge hose to the bullet valve. 
  • Finally, open the valve on the recharge hose to enable the refrigerant to get into the AC.

Note that the refrigerant pressure requirement for every HVAC system varies according to the temperature. This means each window air conditioner requires the right pressure to work effectively. You should also not overfill your system.

If your unit has a low refrigerant level, it will result in low pressure, which affects your AC’s functionality. On the other hand, applying much refrigerant will result in high pressure, causing the machine not to work. 

Since this is a low-pressure line, it’s recommended to use not more than 35-40 PSI before testing if your AC is working again. But if there’s no change, slightly increase the pressure until your AC starts to cool your environment

Recharging your window air conditioner using the technology method

But how can you recharge a window air conditioner using this technique if you’re not a technician? Doing this isn’t involving, and it’s the recommended way to recharge your AC while saving costs. 

Before starting the whole process, ensure you unplug your AC from the wall socket. It will give you an easy time inspecting the unit to identify where the real problem is. 

Also, make sure you’re putting on your protective gear like gloves and eyeglasses prior to starting the next process. This is because the refrigerant is a harmful component and can lead to frostbite if it comes into contact with your skin. 

  • Open your window air conditioner. 

If you’ve got the old window AC, you’ll only slide its front ends out of place, and it will lay bare the components inside the unit. However, the newer ones will require you to open them using a screwdriver. Altogether, you can use the user manual to guide you through this process.

  • Identify and repair any leaks.

The first thing you need to do after opening your unit is to identify where the leak is. You can do this through visual inspection, using soap or nitrogen. Using nitrogen is a method that should be done by experts only.  

Using soap; Make a mixture of water and soap, then lubricate the whole surface of refrigerant transmission gear like the hose or pipe. Switch on your unit and monitor where there will be bubble formation. That will be a leak area. 

Alternatively, you can use leak detectors that sniff out refrigerant leakage. When doing this, power on the system and cover its outdoor from the direct draft. Then turn on the leak detector and pass its probe next to the air conditioner’s outdoor unit. It will produce a fast audible beep or a visual signal when it approaches the spot.

You’re likely to find leaks around joints of the window AC. to prevent the leaky joints, do fix them. If your unit has a slow leak ‘boosting,’ it will help compensate for the leaked refrigerant. However, a fast leak requires soldering the joints and frequent repairs.

  • Fix a service port or the Schrader valve. 

This is a challenging process as it requires soldering in a port or using of piercing valve kit. To make this process easier, use piercing valves that are easy to install and the preferred method of getting a bullet valve on a unit. Install the service ports on the low-pressure lines to add refrigerant.   

It’s important to know that small ACs don’t have a service port for hook-up gauges. 

  • Recharge the window air conditioner

After repairing the leaks and installing the service port, you need to recharge your window air conditioner.  You will require an HVAC gauge and the right type of refrigerant to do this. Read the air conditioner’s service label to know the type of refrigerant to use.

If it’s R410a, you can buy it online at any of the air conditioning supply shops. Then hook up the gauge to the service port and the refrigerant tank. While doing so, ensure you understand the recommended PSI limit to avoid overfilling your unit. 

Additionally, you need to check the pressure and temperature on the gauges to know what they should be. 

Final Thoughts

Can you recharge a window air conditioner without involving an HVAC technician? Yes. This is a simple process you can do at home without any assistance from a technician. However, you need to be put on protective gear to avoid injuries. 

If you’re doing this for the first time, you need to be careful since some components are dangerous. Recharging your window air conditioner will help you reduce the costs of hiring an expert to do it for you. It will also save you from buying another device whenever your system fails to work, saving money in the long run.

Relevant Resources:

  1. 7 Reasons Portable Air Conditioner Compressor Keeps Shutting Off – Solutions
  2. Can You Use a Window Air Conditioner Without a Window – What You Should Know
  3. How to Seal a Window Air Conditioner for the Winter – 6 Easy Steps
  4. Why Is My Apartment So Hot – Top Reasons and How to Cool It
  5. Air Conditioner Starts Then Stops After Only a Few Seconds – 8 Effective Solutions