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R-22, What are people doing now - October 2013?


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What is the current best direction for R-22 split system future repairs and replacements.

As an example, an apartment complex with 200 units, all R-22. What do they need to plan for as replacments

Stock up on R-22 for miscellaneous repairs. R-22 will never be cheaper than it is today.

When it's time to replace them, start installing R410a.

Isn't this obvious?

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Obvious would be convenient.

My AC wholesaler recently tried to sell me some 'replacements' for R-22. When I asked if any were approved by Copeland or Bristol, he dropped his head. None are approved.

My boilerplate on that emphasizes that the end effect of the R 22 phaseout is to move closer the day when system replacement makes more economic sense than repair.

This cooling system uses R 22 refrigerant which will no longer be legal to manufacture on 1 Jan 2020, less than 7 years from now. Prices for this refrigerant are skyrocketing since a phase out is already in progress. I recently checked the price at approximately $400 per 30 lb can, wholesale. A new refrigerant for air conditioners, R 410A sells for about $70 per 30 lb can. This makes certain repairs on this air conditioner much more expensive than usual. R-410A can't be used in existing systems that use R-22 unless labeled as such. You have to replace the both indoor and outdoor appliances. For more information visit: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseou ... seout.html
This cooling system uses R-22 refrigerant which will no longer be legal to manufacture on 1 Jan 2020, less than 7 years from now. Prices for this refrigerant will rise as stocks become more and more depleted, making some repairs more expensive. A new refrigerant, called R-410A, is now available as well as air conditioners that use it. It can't be used in existing systems that use R-22. This doesn't mean you should change the HVAC system now, just that a serviceman responding to your call for AC service is more likely to suggest a replacement than a repair because of the rising cost of repairing these R-22 systems now.

Sometimes I use one, sometimes the other.

Marc

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410 A isn't really that new- In 2001 I was dropping it into cars designed for R12, along with 409 and 134A. The problem with 410A is it runs at higher pressures than R22 and it escapes R22 systems at a much higher rate than does R22. 7 years from now is halfway through a maintenance cycle- buy enough R 22 to last the last half of the system life expectancy and move on.

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I think another of the things nagging my brain deep down is whether or not the coils can be replaced in almost all systems. That makes a big price difference.

Can they?

I don't understand the question.

If you're asking if you can put R-410a in a coil that was previously used with R-22, the answer is no. It's a really bad idea.

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I know the coils need replacement for R-410a because the pressure is too high.

What I am asking is, are R-410a retrofit coils made for almost all existing furnaces?

Probably. Furnace plenums aren't all that oddly shaped. In a pinch, you could always make up a special plenum for it.

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