Great forum here, just happened to come upon it.

I have a 23-25 year old GE home unit. After I bought the house 4 years back, I filled gas once, in 2002. Now it looks like we are short again (not cooling enough/at all, plus the local HVAC tech checked it out). I talked to my neighbor whose house was built the same time, and he said he just fills gas every year.

My options appear to be:
1. Keep filling gas every year or two
2. Run a leak test and try to find the leak
3. Replace the whole system including the line set

What do y'all suggest?
Is there any harm to kids with the leak? I know environmentally it is not good. The leak test is not guaranteed to find the leak, so that's not a sure thing.

Thanks for your responses.