How To

How to recharge a portable air conditioner – Freon refilling steps

Portable air conditioners are marvelous, according to us. You can move them around the house based on your needs instead of having to stay in the one room that has the AC. However, just like a window AC or a split AC, the portable air conditioner comes with maintenance requirements. One of them is to recharge it regularly.

When compared to other units, you will have to pay more attention to your portable air conditioner because it will need refilling much faster than them. Freon typically lasts only for 5-10 years in a portable AC. In others, it can last for 10 years and up.

If your AC is not cooling and there are no leakages, you can suspect that the Freon needs to be refilled. If you have basic knowledge about the AC and its parts, this process will be easy for you. 

How to recharge a portable air conditioner

Recharging the AC as and when required is crucial to ensure optimal performance. These are the steps you can follow to do so:

  • Gather all the necessary equipment including gloves, safety goggles, refrigerant, Freon kit, and a screwdriver. 
  • Wear your safety equipment. This step should not be ignored because Freon is toxic. It is can also damage raw skin because it is cryogenic.
  • Remember to buy the correct refrigerant based on the AC’s owner’s manual. The specifications vary from one model to the other.
  • Unplug your AC and let it cool down completely. 
  • Open the unit using the screwdriver.
  • If you suspect a leak, use a leak detector to find out the leak. You can also use soap or nitrogen.
  • Once you are sure that there are no leakages, move on to connect the compressor to the valves. The AC’s manual will come in handy here as well. Follow the instructions given to locate the compressor.
  • Now, use the Freon kit. Connect the valves to it. Follow the steps mentioned in the kit to do it correctly.
  • Once you are sure that the connections are secure, recharge your AC. Make sure you don’t overcharge it. Check the manual to see how much your AC needs and recharge it accordingly.

Notes and advice

While it is possible to recharge your portable AC on your own, we advise that you leave it to the experts unless you are sure of what you are doing. We say so because handling Freon needs a lot of care. Moreover, overcharging the unit is quite easy if you are not experienced and that can cause dangerous leaks.

Also, recharging the AC without a license is illegal in most states. 


When it comes to handling Freon, we recommend that you take professional help. If you are confident that you can do it yourself and have experience working with ACs, the aforementioned steps will make the process easy for you. All the best!

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