Flushing the air conditioner: Here’s how it works and when it’s necessary

by Pramith

When you flush your air conditioner, you ensure that the system is operating properly. It is an important maintenance task.

Rinsing the air conditioner: Therefore, it is important

There are various chemical and mechanical processes that take place inside your air conditioner’s system. Regular maintenance will ensure that these processes run smoothly and your room is brought to the desired temperature. Flushing your air conditioner is a maintenance job that you can do yourself.

  • One of the main problems that air conditioners bring is internal contamination. The refrigerant and lubricant are necessary for the system to operate. These can be contaminated by various substances.
  • Moisture, particle formation due to uncontrolled chemical reactions or the careless use of additives such as UV dye or leak protection agents are among the most common sources of contamination. All of these problems can quickly lead to blockages in the narrow system channels, resulting in severe failures.
  • Refrigerants, lubricants and precise mechanisms within the circuit must be clean for optimal operation. This helps the system to maintain the appropriate pressure and temperature parameters.
  • Any restriction or interruption in system flow can have disastrous consequences. Restricted refrigerant flow causes a drop in system performance. This causes an immediate increase in pressure, affects the lubrication of the entire system and consequently creates an abnormal temperature load. This is very dangerous for the air conditioning compressor.

Basic rules for flushing the system

Keep in mind the most important precautions to ensure proper flushing. Proper maintenance of your air conditioner is essential. Remember, a flush is not a courtesy and can save you a repeat repair after a new compressor is installed.

  • There are some basic rules for proper flushing. The air conditioning compressor must be removed. You will probably replace the compressor afterwards. If not, the compressor must be disconnected from the flush or bypassed. The expansion devices of the system should also be removed or bypassed. These include, for example, the nozzle or the expansion valve.
  • Remove or replace the receiver dryer and the desiccant after flushing. Parallel flow, thin tube and micro tube condensers as well as evaporators cannot be flushed effectively and should be replaced or backflushed.
  • This is necessary if the system has been affected by serious contamination or by a previous compressor standstill. After flushing, you can proceed to charge the system with the prescribed type and amount of refrigerant and lubricant.

How to clean your air conditioner of impurities

With all methods, the cleaning agent residues must be thoroughly removed after flushing. The system circuit must always be dried thoroughly. Nitrogen and a long-term vacuum are recommended for this. After flushing your air conditioner, you must also replace all necessary components.

  • Using a special flushing agent: This option is based on circulating the cleaning agent throughout the circuit and injecting it directly from a pressure vessel or distributing it through a special flushing machine. This rinsing method dissolves all kinds of particles, sludge, stubborn dirt and residues.
  • The method combines well with high-pressure nitrogen to move the detergent through the channels. Ideally, the circuit segments are flushed separately. This flushing method has proven successful for stubborn contamination. The nitrogen removes the moisture and facilitates the action of the flushing agent.
  • Refrigerant and charging station: With this method, the refrigerant circulates through the circuit with the charging station. The station must be equipped with a flushing function, specially designed filters and a container to collect impurities. This flushing method effectively cleans loose particles. However, it is not very effective in flushing out sludge and dirt.
  • Refrigerant directly from the bottle: The refrigerant is used as a cleaning agent. It is circulated through the circuit by heating the bottle. An additional bottle for the contaminated gas as well as an adapter set and hoses must be prepared. This will ensure a proper, tight system connection for the process.
  • No additional agents or machines are required for this flushing method. It effectively cleans loose particles, but is not very effective when it comes to flushing out heavy sludges and contaminants.

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