What range of leak rates would this be?
What leak rate is 'normal'?
Normal loss is a little "psst" when taking gauges off with low loss fittings. That's an ounce or two at most. Sealed copper has no loss of its own without a leak.
I tell customers exactly the same thing as written to the poster. When it was all R22 the choices were top it off every year, repair leak if possible,replace componet or replace system. Each option would also have a price tag so they could make an informed decision. Most folks using a pound or two a year from an indoor coil leak choose to top it off every spring. The outdoor coil leaks that Ive found lost almost all the charge quickly,a week or less, so topping it off would be very costly. They braized up and held nicely though.
A 16 year old AC is nearing the normal life so then the question becomes do I want to put $X in repairs now or $X in freon and service calls over the next 4-5 years or apply that to something new. You had a nice little link not to long ago showing if the appliance is x years old only put y dollars in it, which IMO is a good guideline.
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