An air conditioner is essential to living in Singapore. The hot and humid weather requires an aircon unit if you want to live comfortably. Aircons use gas – also called refrigerant, or coolant to function. This gas transports heat from your indoor unit, and the condenser exchanges the heat with the atmosphere. If there is less than recommended pressure gas, your aircon might start malfunctioning.
The Aircon Explained
Before we explore the reasons why you would require a gas recharge, let us understand how it all works. The condenser contains the compressor which pressurizes the gas. This causes the gas to heat up. The heat is exchanged with the atmosphere, and the cooled refrigerant is circulated to the indoor unit.
Inside the indoor unit, the evaporator allows the gas to expand. This decompression of gas leads to a cooling effect. The evaporator coils get chilled, and air flowing over it gets colder.
This is a closed-loop, and you would require a top-up only in cases of a leak, or maintenance.
Symptoms to look out for
You would notice a decrease in the cooling effect of the air conditioner or erratic behavior on how it switches on and off. Here are some points you should consider:
1. Ice formation on evaporator coil: Once you’re confident that the air conditioner isn’t cooling correctly, lift the top cover and inspect the evaporator coil. If there is a formation of ice on the coil, it probably means an inadequate amount of gas in the system.
Gas over expands, leading to excess cooling. The temperature of the coil goes below freezing temperature and ice forms. One of the visual indicators of this is leaking water. While water may leak due to other reasons too, this is one of them.
Get your aircon inspected by a professional and get the gas recharged, if necessary.
2. Lack of cooling: There may not be ice on the coils, yet a loss of cooling. In such a case, the refrigerant pressure is the probable cause. If there is an insufficient quantity of refrigerant in the lines, your aircon would not cool.
Professionals like MCL Air Conditioning provide gas top-up service in entire Singapore. You may book an appointment with them.
3. Continuous compressor operation: On non-inverter aircons, the compressor shuts off when the set temperature is reached. It the compressor isn’t turning off, it means there is no proper heat exchange. The setpoint isn’t being reached, and hence, the compressor keeps working.
Get your aircon inspected and you’d need a top-up of gas.
4. Visible leaks: The aircon pipes, valves, or other areas may have a deposit of whitish substance. That is probably the refrigerant leaking out. Call your technician as soon as possible.
Aircon refrigerant is very costly, and if you detect a leak in time, you can get a top-up at a lesser cost and also prevent wear and tear. At lower pressure, the compressor it highly loaded.
5. Movement: In case you have moved a fixed air conditioner to another room or place, there would be a complete recharge of the refrigerant. The aircon cannot be installed in another place without disassembly.
There is no place where the aircon can “store” the gas.
6. Repair: If any component of the cooling loop requires repair, all the gas in the system would be vented off to the atmosphere.
Compressor, coils, evaporator, and refrigerant pipes are part of the closed loop. If disassembly is required to fix any other these, there would be a complete recharge of gas once the system is fixed again.
You may have observed that most of the cases requiring a gas top-up are due to improper maintenance and servicing. If quality service is performed on time, it may not be required to recharge the system. It is, therefore, mandatory to have your aircon serviced at regular intervals. Always have trained professionals like those at MCL Air-Conditioning to service and fix your air conditioner. MCL provides reliable aircon servicing throughout Singapore and undertakes aircon servicing, repair, installation, and gas recharge.