Summer is coming and aircon systems need to be maintained and serviced. these steps you can do to learn and keep it at tip top condition. Both R-12 and R-134a are heavier than air, so always check 360 degrees around all fittings. • If the system is very low on refrigerant, charge it to its normal capacity. (Some leaks are impossible to find unless the system is operating at normal pressures). • Refrigerant leaks are also oil leaks. The easiest way to spot an oil leak is to look for joints or components coated with oily dust. Check for damage and corrosion at the same time. • When checking the service ports for leaks, be sure the cap seals are in place and the caps are tight. The cap is used as the final seal in the system, not just to keep dirt out of the Schrader valve. • Check the whole system in a continuous path; do not stop at the first place the detector indicates a leak. Check all fittings, couplings, service ports, pressure switches, welded areas, and areas around attachment points on lines and components. • When checking the crimped metal ends on a rubber hose, wiggle the hose around. • When using a electronic leak detector, move the probe slowly (25 mm [one inch] per second is the recommended rate), and keep it within 6 mm [1/4 inch] of the components. Move the probe even slower at closer proximities increases the likelihood of finding the leak. • Check the low-pressure side when the system is not running. Check the high-pressure side when the system is running and also right after turning it off. (The air from the cooling fans may give you a false alarm) Since the compressor and the evaporator are in both sides of the system, check these components when the system is running and when it is off. • Verify apparent leaks by blowing the area with compressed air, then recheck for leaks. In case of a very large leak, blowing out the area may help pinpoint the exact source of the leak.