Asked on Aug 20, 2012

The air isn't as cold as it once was on my 18 yr old Friedrich a/c window unit. Does it need more freon?

EdyeLindaWoodbridge Environmental


Or is this what happens when they get old? I get ads for tune ups, freon replacement etc. but I think they are just scams. Would love some professional advise before I call one of these companies and spend money on useless repairs.
4 answers
  • LandlightS
    on Aug 20, 2012

    Linda....after 18 years and it's still cooling is a major feat in itself. I would highly suggest that you purchase a new unit. Not only will it cool as it should, but it will be far more energy efficient and will save you money and a little less stress on ConEd

  • Linda, It may need more freon, however if it does, it has a leak that would be to costly to repair. As AC units age the coils that are part of the system begin to become porous and seep the refrigerant over a period of time. These leaks are so small that it is impossible for the service tech to effectively find it and correct it. Also almost all older window units do not have access valves that are needed to check or recharge the system. This of course adds to the cost to check it and to fix it if indeed there is a leak in the system. By the time you were to spend all the money for the service person to come in, remove the unit out of the wall or window, then access the system to check the charge and if need be recharge it. You would have spent most of the money needed just to purchase a new unit. And when all is said and done, there would be no warranty other then a few months on the work. landlightS is correct, your much better off purchasing a new unit. The efficiency of these systems are much better then what you currently have so the cost combined with fixing vs. purchase your way ahead of the game. Now one more thing. If the system is still pushing cool air, but does not seem quite as good as it once was, does not mean that there is any leak at all. The AC system fan and coils most likely are dirty. A fraction of dust built up on the fan system can lower the ability of the system to produce cold air by almost 20%. Given our heat wave that loss as well with the ability to cool the air normally only 20 degrees lower then outside temps can make the air feel pretty warm when the unit is blowing on high cool. The thing to remember is that these window and many wall units only hold a small amount of refrigerant in the first place. And as soon as the gas quantity goes down just a bit, the system will freeze up to a block of ice and no cold air will blow at all. My suggestion if you were to do anything as far as service, is to pull the unit out of the window, remove the cover and using a hose wash out the fan system and coils, let dry and put back together and in the window. Other then that, buy a new one.

  • Linda
    on Aug 20, 2012

    Thanks guys for your helpful responses! Since I live in a 7th fl NYC rental apartment and I don't pay for utilities, I think I will wait until the unit dies before I get a new one. The air is still cool. Friedrich's are pricy and the required brand in my building. I will get someone to clean the unit as Woodbridge suggested, I don't think I can hose down the unit on the 7th fl. lol

  • Edye
    on Mar 12, 2015

    My heating and cooling system is still going strong after 17 years. We have each system checked when it's time to be used. Would suggest a specialist check it for dirt and possibly some maintenance. If you have never cleaned the filters they could be so dirty that air doesn't move well.

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