How Long Does an AC Charge Last in a Car?

Most car air conditioning systems can last up to five years without needing a Freon refill, unless you live in an area with a very hot climate. Freon is a type of coolant that is circulated in a closed system to cool the interior of your vehicle. This means that your car won't run out of Freon, as it is reused within the sealed system. However, even a small loss of refrigerant gas can significantly reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system.

A 10 percent decrease in refrigerant gas can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner by 20 percent or more. To prevent this from happening, it's important to have your system checked annually before the warm weather starts. If any refrigerant gas has been lost, it should be replaced by a professional. Additionally, overloading the system can be just as damaging as chronic loss of refrigerant gas.

Some automatic air conditioning professionals suggest evacuating the system and refilling it every three to four years to check for leaks. This depends mainly on the quality of your car's air conditioning and how you use it. Some car air conditioners can last 5 to 7 years before needing to be recharged, while other models may require recharging once every year or two. When taking your car for maintenance, make sure that you thoroughly inspect the air conditioner.