DIY: Should I try to fix my window air conditioner?

I bought a new GE window air conditioner last year, and used it for about a month, then put it into storage. When I installed it this year, no cold air came out. I called customer support, they suggested a few simple things, but to no avail. It was still under warranty, so they sent me a rebate form to be reimbursed for buying a new one; they said they would not try to have it repaired, as it was less than $300 to replace. They said just recycle the old unit.

So I have my new air conditioner, but I am wondering if it is feasible to repair the defective one myself, even if it wasn’t cost effective for GE to send a repairman. The compressor comes on, but I don’t hear any gurgling of refrigerant like I hear with the new unit. I am thinking the refrigerant leaked out.

Is it feasible to locate the leak, repair it and recharge the refrigerant myself? If the tools and supplies are less than $100, it might be worth it to me, as the unit is otherwise like new.

It depends tremendously on what tools and skills you already have and how much of your time and effort you’re interested in spending.

I agree that recycling the unit is probably the best/simplest option.

I tried to get a window air conditioner repaired two years ago and no shop even wanted to look at it. This tells me that the industry (rightly or wrongly) considers these to be disposable items.

I have no AC specific tools, but I have a lot of general repair tools. I have no AC repair experience, but I repair computers and am pretty good at figuring out mechanical things.

My time is my own, so if I saw a reasonable path to success, I wouldn’t mind investing a few hours in a project like this. A cursory web search says I could use a piercing valve to recharge with, but beyond that, I have no idea how to proceed.

I was hoping somebody here might have done this before.

if you don’t fix the leak then recharging won’t last for long.

Agreed. Anybody fix a refrigerant leak before?

Window units were often repaired years ago. Same tools that fix Central units are used on window units and automobile AC. If the unit runs at all, then Manifold Gauges are always the first step. They check the gas pressure, and the compressor. Smaller window units probably won’t have ports to hook up the gauges. They can be installed as part of the servicing.

The common gases used in older units were banned a few years ago by our wonderful government. Those units are basically unrepairable now.

I have to agree that these days smaller window units just aren’t worth fixing. Even getting parts would be difficult.