Window air conditioners are usually not fixed when broken and most often tossed and replaced.
However, they are fixable, often only needing a low-cost part or a refrigerant recharge to get them working again.
One problem when repairing a window A/C unit is they usually do not come with a service port Schrader valve and need one to be installed.
This is an easy process that only needs a piercing valve kit.
You can also solder on a Schrader valve, but it is not necessary and comes down to personal preference.
Items needed Install a Service Port On a Window A/C Unit
- Wire brush or emery cloth to clean the area.
- A Bullet Piercing Valve.
Bullet Piercing Valves can be bought at most air conditioning part supply stores or online.
They are low-cost items that make installing a service port on a window A/C unit quick and easy.
Example Bullet Piercing Valve on Amazon
Supco BPV21 Bullet Piercing Valve
How To Install a Service Port on a Window Air Conditioner
- The first step is to find a spot on the copper refrigerant line (Usually low pressure line) that will be easily accessible and clean it with a wire brush or emery cloth.
- Take the piercing valve and hold it on one side of the copper line.
- Attach the other side.
- Tighten down the outer screws evenly.
- After the outer screws are in place, the center can be screwed in, which will go into the copper line piercing it.
You can now attach gauges on the unit and test it or refill as you would any other A/C unit.
There are some HVAC technicians who prefer to solder on a valve, but in my experience, a screw-on valve works just as well.
This is, of course, debatable and is simply a preference that changes from tech to tech.
If you are very good at soldering and can do it quickly and reliably, soldering a piercing valve on may be a better option.
If you just need a quick port to add refrigerant or test a unit, a screw-on piercing valve will work fine.
Screw-on type valves can become loose over time and 4-5 years and may need to be tightened eventually.
Window A/C units that are repaired are usually 5-10 years old, if not older with adding another 4-5 years of life likely the maximum a unit can still function.
A screw-on Schrader valve will more than likely outlast the unit working life span.
15-yr old Kenmore using R-22 which just started short-cycling. Have some HVAC training and would like to attempt repair without evacuating. Am assuming that it’s low on charge. I have universal EPA and will try finding a small amt of 22 or substitute. I live in Calif. Any recommendations?
Ebay is probably the best bet.
I bought a used portable 12000 BTU AC system about 3 years ago for $60. It ran great until last year when the compressor would switch on/off. This year it won’t switch on at all due to low R-22 refrigerant. I bought the R-22 and hose ($25) to repair and find out that there is no port. There was no mention of this in the manual. A new unit is cost roughly $400. I challenge anyone to find an AC service tech to repair this for less than the cost of a new unit, or at least close. Even if you do it would still cost more than this old unit is worth. At the same time new units are made with lower quality components. It worth the small investment for me. It’s better than sending it to the trash.