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Do I Need to Top Up My Refrigerant? | Cold-Rite

One question that our clients often ask our refrigeration technicians is whether they need to top up their refrigerant and how often it needs to be done. Unless there is a leak in the system, the answer to this question is never. It should not need to be replaced unless something is going wrong.

It’s a common misconception that refrigerant is something that depletes over time like fuel in a gas-powered appliance. However, refrigerant is something that continuously cycles through your commercial cool rooms or freezer room.

Signs of a Leaking Refrigeration System

Signs that the refrigerant is leaking or there is another issue with the system include:

  • System stops cooling or becomes less efficient at cooling
  • Lukewarm air coming out of vents
  • Ice forming on the evaporator coil
The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

Scheduled, regular preventative maintenance is the key to identifying problems like leaking refrigerant early. This avoids costly breakdowns and ensures your refrigeration systems run efficiently, whether you have a walk-in fridge or a humidity-controlled room. If there is an issue with your refrigeration system, the technician will check the entire system and repair any issues related to leaks before topping up the refrigerant.


This is because it’s illegal to top up refrigerant without first checking for and repairing any leaks. Not repairing a leaking system and topping it up with refrigerant is discharging a scheduled substance. This is an offence under section 45B of the Ozone Act. It can result in a civil penalty of $63,000 for an individual and $315,000 for a business and in some circumstances, result in a criminal conviction.

The Impact of Leaking Refrigerant

Aside from the increased repair costs later down the track, leaking equipment can have a number of other downsides. Leaking refrigeration equipment runs less efficiently, using much more electricity to operate and therefore driving up your costs significantly if unaddressed.

Depending on what kind of refrigerant is in your system, leakages can also emit emissions that may be harmful to your health and the environment. These can range from mild to severe. Refrigerant is also heavier than air meaning that it will hang around the floor, so just be wary of pets or children who are more vulnerable

Commercial Freezers and Cool Rooms in Sydney

Cold-Rite Refrigeration provides a range of commercial and industrial refrigeration solutions, including walk in fridges, commercial water chillers, humidity-controlled rooms and more. We have a fleet of mobile workshops available for breakdown services, installation or planned maintenance throughout the greater Sydney metropolitan area extending to the Blue Mountains, Central and South Coasts.


Call us today on 1300 336 628 for more information or contact us online.