Topping up the refrigerant in your air conditioner

refrigerant leaking from air conditioning pipes
If your air conditioner has lost its gas you should NOT be topping up the system with additional refrigerant!


Under the refrigerant handling code of practice topping up is not allowed.  A licensed Technician must thoroughly check for leaks and any faulty components must be repaired or replaced prior to adding refrigerant. Repairs must only be carried out by a Cert 3 qualified Refrigeration Mechanic.

Topping up a system without repairing it first will result in ongoing refrigerant leaks occurring. Below are the main reasons why you should not top up your air conditioner:

1.   Ongoing Costs

If you top up your air conditioner it may be a month or even as soon as a week before the system fails again. Every time the system is topped up, the cost of refrigerant and labour will leave you out of pocket. It is more beneficial to invest the money into repairing the system properly in the first place to prevent any further leaks.

2.   Bad for the environment

Ozone depleting refrigerants and synthetic greenhouse gases are found in a number of new and older model domestic and commercial air conditioning systems.  Topping up refrigerant runs the risk of releasing harmful refrigerant into the atmosphere.  The higher the global warming potential (GWP) of a refrigerant the more destructive it is for the ozone layer.

3.   Major repairs or replacement

If your system is not correctly charged with refrigerant for an extended period of time, it can result in failure of components such as the compressor. This may lead to expensive repairs or a full system replacement.

4.   Lack of performance and increased running cost

For a system that is continually losing refrigerant and being topped up the compressor will work harder than normal, causing an increase in running costs and a reduction in capacity and efficiency.

5.   Penalty imposed

It is illegal to release refrigerant into the atmosphere, and any unusable refrigerant must be returned to an authorised collection agent for disposal. Failure to comply with this requirement may incur a penalty of up to $51,000 for an individual or up to $255,000 for a corporation.

To learn more about the Australia and New Zealand refrigerant handling code of practice 2007 please click here.

For further information or to speak to one of our Service Team please call 6297 4109 or visit:

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