How to Change Air Conditioner Compressor Oil

In order for an air-conditioning system to function properly, you need to occasionally change its compressor oil. A well-lubricated compressor ensures the effective distribution of Freon into the system, which is what is responsible for cooling the air. It can take less than an hour to change the oil of an air conditioner.


  • Compressor Oil SAE 20
  • Socket Set
  • Screwdrivers

Step 1: Preparations

Make sure that your unit is turned off and unplugged. Using the screwdriver, unscrew your air conditioner from the frame sticking out of the wall. Pull out the unit slowly and set it aside. Cover all electrical components with plastic so as not to damage them.

Step 2: Remove Air Filter and Fan

Remove the air filter by pulling it out gently. Air filters are just usually slid in and are not screwed or bolted. As for the fan, use your screwdriver or socket set to remove and clean it. Upon removing these two, you will have full access to the compressor.

Step 3: Replacing the Oil

Inspect the compressor and you will see a valve. Open the valve and add a few drops of oil into it. The oil has to be SAE 20 and this can be seen on the label. This is the recommended grade of oil for air-conditioning systems.

Step 4: Replace the Fan and Air Filter

Replace the fan and screw it back on. Make sure that it is securely fastened, otherwise it will make some noise if it is not properly installed. Slide the air filter back into its place. Return the unit into the frame and turn it on to test it. Periodically adding compressor oil will keep your air conditioner running its best.