On Friday of last week we got a call requesting an estimate, for how much it would cost to change the oil in someone’s air conditioning. So in the air conditioning business this question is substantially funnier, than it is if you actually are the owner of that air conditioner. You see, there is no need to change the refrigerant on your air conditioner, unless it leaks out. And just to be clear, air conditioning refrigerant is not supposed to leak out. If it does leak you have a problem. Some air conditioners have an extremely slow leak, but it does not seem to affect the summertime
To be clear, there is a substantial environmental problem, that goes along with even a slow leak and your air conditioning refrigerant. Your air conditioner is a closed system. If every year it requires to be recharged, with r22 or 410a then you need an air conditioning repair. In all probability you have a leak in the line set or the internal evaporator coil.
For instance we were working on a heat pump for a homeowner. The homeowner had explained that every year, sometimes twice a year she would require an ac repair in Summerlin and Northwest Las Vegas. Most of the time when they came out on the call the problem was blamed was low refrigerant. No refrigerant means that there was a leak. We have special tools and chemicals that allows us to locate a leak. So we put them into action employing them on this job.
Who spent nearly 4 hours and three trips trying to locate this leak but nothing was ever found. As it turns out there was actually a leak inside the wall that was due to a piece of chair rail molding that was installed right after she purchased the home. The nail holding the chair rail molding perforated the copper line set. The refrigerant leaked out slowly as it was under more and more pressure. Not so much that it wouldn’t work but so much that it wouldn’t stay working.
Unfortunately this particular repair took much longer to find it then to actually get to fix. We were able to open up the drywall fix the leak and restore service to her home. We have gone back 3 times to check the pressure, each time it holds perfect and steady; I think we got it, cross your fingers.