When you hear someone talking about recharging your air conditioning unit, they’re talking about adding more refrigerant to the unit and ensuring the refrigerant is properly pressurized within the refrigerant system.
The quick answer is never. The refrigerant systems within an air conditioning system are sealed. This means that residential air conditioning units are not designed to need a recharge. If your unit needs a recharge, this means that there is a leak somewhere within that refrigerant system.
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When your AC needs to be recharged, that most likely means that there is leakage somewhere. The two most common symptoms of AC leakage is: 1.) Your unit starts blowing warm air 2.) There is ice build up on your unit
There are many factors that contribute to the cost of recharging your AC. Some factors include: 1.) The severity of the leak 2.) The cause of the leak 3.) The type of refrigerant
An industry rule of thumb is any unit that is anywhere from 15 years old or older and leaking refrigerant may need to be replaced. We see it every year -- even if it is repaired, it is reaching the end of its lifespan, and something else will most likely go wrong with it soon.