An A/C system that blows cold air for awhile then warm air is probably freezing up. This can be caused by air and moisture in the system that allows ice to form and block the orifice tube.
Evacuating the system with a vacuum pump will purge it of unwanted air and moisture. Evacuation should be done with a vacuum pump that is capable of achieving and holding a high vacuum (29 inches) for at least 30 to 45 minutes.
For best performance, an A/C system should contain less than 2% air by weight. For every 1% increase in the amount of air that displaces refrigerant in the system, there will be a corresponding drop of about one degree in cooling performance. More than 6% air can cause a very noticeable drop in cooling performance, and possibly cause evaporator freeze-up.
Air can get inside a system through leaks, by not evacuating the system prior to recharging it, and/or by recharging the system with refrigerant that¿½s contaminated with air. Recovery equipment can suck air into the recycling tank if an A/C system contains air or if the system has a leak. For this reason, the refrigerant recovery tank on recycling equipment must be checked and purged daily. On some equipment, this is done automatically. But on equipment that lacks an automatic purge cycle, tank pressure and temperature has to be measured and compared to a static pressure reference chart.
Some refrigerant identifier equipment can detect air in the system as well as other contaminants. You should always use an identifier to check the refrigerant before servicing the system to prevent cross-contamination of your recovery and recycling equipment.