When the scorching sun greets us while driving, an air conditioner is the only thing that comes to our rescue. Whether you crank it up the moment you turn on the engine or remember to switch it on when the scorching sun says hello, an air-con constitutes an integral part of the overall driving experience. In this article, we will be addressing the various issues and questions around air-con regassing, allowing you to handle the problems as they come.
So before the heat takes over the cabin, let’s take a look at some air-con regassing and maintenance tips.
How does an air-con work?
Your air-conditioner system is made out of three main fundamental parts – a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator. These three components work collaboratively to move the refrigerant through high pressure and a low-pressure system, changing it from gas to liquid to then gas again. Seems complicated, doesn’t it? Let me explain it better.
- When you press the air-con button, the refrigerant vapours start moving from the compressor to the condenser. Just remember that it leaves the compressor as a high-pressure, high-temperature vapour.
- The condenser chamber works to remove the heat, and turn the vapour into a high-pressure liquid. The liquid then moves through a receiver-drier wherein the moisture is absorbed from the liquid refrigerant.
- From the receiver-drier, the refrigerant now moves on to the expansion valve, where the pressure is removed from the liquid refrigerant, turning it into a low-pressure liquid.
- The refrigerant then passes through the evaporator, where it is vaporized with the help of the heat from the air in the cabin. The blower fan inside the passenger compartment pushes the air over the evaporator, thereby allowing cold air to circulate inside the car.
- The refrigerant goes back to the compressor as a low-pressure vapour for another round.
What is air-con regassing?
Now that you understand how the refrigerant works, it is time to take a look at the regassing process.
Air-con regassing is the process of replacing the old refrigerant gas from the entire system and replacing it with a new refrigerant. This is done to ensure that the overall quality of the cold air is maintained, and the air conditioner system works efficiently. In addition to the recharge, most service centres also vacuum the system to remove any excess moisture and air – which are one of the biggest causes of air-con failure.
If you ever feel a certain drop in the working of your air-con, it is often in need of a re-gassing process. There could be other issues like a leak, however, you would need a professional person to take a look at it.
When you take your car for a re-gas procedure, the old refrigerant is replaced or topped up with the new refrigerant gas. It is an hour-long process, however, if there are any major leaks, it might take longer.
An air-con regas is a simple procedure; the old refrigerant gas is removed from the air-conditioning system and replaced with new refrigerant gas. The process should only take around one hour, so is something you can wait to have done rather than having to leave the car at the garage.
How often do I need to re-gas my air conditioner
Most manufacturers agree that an air-conditioner system needs to be serviced or topped up every two years. However, the general trend of the drivers is to bring in the car for an air-con inspection only when it has stopped working or has stopped blowing out cold air.
If you ever do notice that your air-con system is not blowing cold air, as much as it should, or it is not performing up to the said standard, it might be time to bring it for car air conditioning service. If you haven’t had your air-con recharged in the past two years and it is still soldiering on, now is the time to give it some attention.
I mean, we all want the cool breeze to last.
Can I regas my air-con system at home
The world of the internet, information, and DIY has made everything possible from home. However, there are still some limitations to it. You can buy air-con regas kits from a local store, and attempt to do the job yourself. However, there are many drawbacks to this.
Firstly, buying a refill kit can sometimes prove to be more expensive than simply driving down to the service centre and having a professional take a look. If you mess up the work, it would lead to an even more expensive job. Secondly, getting the work done by a professional will also detect any other issue that might be arising.
Secondly, it is very lethal to handle refrigerant gas as it can cause damage to the skin and eyes when in contact. A professional mechanic will work with the utmost level of safety to ensure nobody is harmed in the process.
The Consequences of Neglecting the Re-gas
Air-con Service is extremely integral and ignoring them has its consequences. The most direct and obvious outcome of a non-maintained air conditioner system is that it makes your car more hot and stuffy. It is not only in summers, but air-con also helps to demist the windscreen during the winters. Moreover, Air-con refrigerant assists in cooling down the air-con compressor, protecting it from overheating.
This brings us to the end of the article on air-con regassing. For more information, feel free to comment below.