How to Remove Air Conditioner Without Losing Gas

How to Remove Air Conditioner Without Losing Gas

Can You Remove Air Conditioner Without Losing Gas?

Yes, you can absolutely remove an air conditioner without losing gas. Considering that package HVAC units only require turning the unit off, unplugging it then taking the unit out; it is likely that the unit you are inquiring about is a split system.

We know, this is already sounding complicated but it is rather simple. A package unit typically combines multiple units into one, such as a heater and an air conditioner, then the unit is usually kept outside.

A split system unit, on the other hand, has the systems divided into their own separate unit, which means that your air conditioner and your heater are separate.

It is hard to say which HVAC unit is better instead, it comes down to your home. If you have a small amount of storage space, such as an apartment or a small condo, you would likely be better off with a package system unit.

However, for larger homes or those with crawlspaces or a basement, a split system would likely be the best option. This is because a larger home has more storage and extra space, in order to house components within the home. Remember, that a split HVAC system has both outdoor and indoor units, which are connected with copper tubing.

If your split system air conditioner is a quality system, it should roughly last around 10 to 15 years. Keep in mind, that the outdoor compressor can become quite noisy if it is not properly maintained. There is also the issue of space as well, if your home has limited yard or balcony space, you may want to reconsider getting another split system.

If you are looking for a better cooling ability, it is primarily based on the unit’s tonnage. Though split air conditioning units are typically mounted in a high space and as we mentioned earlier, they are designed for cooling larger spaces.

A split system air conditioner can be used almost anywhere, from a small apartment to a large home, with the small indoor unit only needing a ceiling space, floor, or even a small wall and the outdoor unit being wall or ground-mountable.

Not only can your air conditioner save you on a hot summer day but most units also have sophisticated air filtration systems that can catch fine particles such as mold spores, dust, and other allergens. Split system air conditioners typically are also energy efficient, the cost to cool a medium-sized room is usually around 25 cents to 35 cents per hour, which is quite affordable.

How to Remove Air Conditioner Without Losing Gas

Firstly, it is important to state that removing an air conditioner, especially a split system air conditioner is dangerous and should only be done by a professional.

However, we are aware that there are situations when hiring a professional is not an option; therefore, you must do it yourself. One of the main reasons why it is dangerous is because of the gas that air conditioners use to produce cool air, this gas is known as “Freon.” Freon is not a particularly scary name for a gas; however, breathing in Freon is very dangerous and can even lead to long-term brain damage and in severe freon poisoning cases, sudden death. This is why we are going to tell you how to remove the air conditioner without causing a gas leak.

Below, you will find the steps to remove your split system air conditioner. Before beginning, it should be said again that you should consider calling a master to safely uninstall your air conditioner.

It should also be mentioned that if you have someone to assist you with the procedure, that would be advisable. However, this is not always an option, so let us get to removing that air conditioner. It is also important to add that you should certainly wear gloves while removing your air conditioner.

Step 1. The first thing you will want to do is turn the equipment off completely, then go to the outside equipment, then look for the tin hexagonal lids that are screwed to the pipes’ “elbows,” then take these lids from the valves on the pipes with a wrench.

Step 2. Once you have done that, turn the AC on in the cold mode. You may have to warm up the sensor if the day is too cold or start the procedure of warming up the room where the inner air is installed.

Step 3. Allow the equipment to run until the compressor starts, then screw the valve of the inner pipe all the way in with a 5mm-Allen wrench, and let the same Allen wrench ready in the other valve.

Step 4. The compressor sound will change to a lower pitch. When it gets steady, screw in the other valve and tell whomever you have helping inside to turn off/unplug the equipment.

Beware these three things:

  • If you reverse the order of the valves, you will lose all of the refrigerant (freon).
  • If you take too long or you do it without a manifold/manometer, you may burn the compressor.
  • If you do not allow enough time, the refrigerant (Freon) may not be removed completely.

A manifold or vacuum pump will be necessary to install it again, which is why uninstalling it is usually included or affordably charged over the installation, which always requires a professional.

What to Do If You Lost Gas

It is not advisable but you can run your air conditioner on low levels of refrigerant (Freon); however, this is not recommended as it will put your cooling system at risk. With that said, the best thing you can do when you have lost refrigerant (Freon) is to call a professional.

It is not a good idea to attempt to repair a leak (if there is one), again; the best you can do is to contact a trained and licensed professional so that they may seal up the leak’s location and then recharge the refrigerant (Freon) level.

Not only is freon dangerous to work with, to repair and recharging refrigerant levels takes special equipment and expertise.

Bear in mind, that mild exposure to Freon in a well-ventilated area is usually not serious, including having a small amount on the skin or having a localized leak in the home. Accidental refrigerant poisoning is relatively rare but it can occur when someone is working directly with cooling chemicals.

Symptoms of refrigerant (Freon) poisoning vary based on exposure. If the exposure occurs in a well-ventilated area, poisoning is not likely to occur. Symptoms of mild to moderate refrigerant exposure may include:

  • Headache
  • Irritation of eyes, ears, and throat
  • Dizziness
  • Frostbite if exposed to quickly expanding gas or liquid coolant
  • Vomiting
  • Chemical burns on the skin
  • Nausea
  • Coughing

Severe refrigerant poisoning can cause symptoms including:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bleeding or fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Seizure
  • Feeling of the food pipe burning
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Coma or sudden death

Keep an eye out for any of these symptoms after you have removed your air conditioner, especially if you believe there was a refrigerant (Freon) leak. As previously stated, refrigerant (Freon) poisoning is pretty rare but you should be as cautious as possible when working with an appliance that uses refrigerant, such as your air conditioner.

Air conditioners are incredible inventions, which without we would all be entirely too hot or cold.

There certainly are situations when removing an air conditioner is necessary; however, keep in mind that it is always a good idea to have another person assisting you with the procedure.

Ideally, you should call a master to safely remove your air conditioner or if you live in an apartment, you should speak with your landlord to see if they can hire someone for you. Also, repairs or removal could be included in the lease, so be sure to check with your landlord.


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