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“Should I Replace My HVAC System Condenser, Coil & Furnace?”

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Customer Question: My Heating and Air Conditioning Service Company/Service Technician is advising me to replace my current AC R-22 Condenser and Coil with a new “Higher Efficiency and Environmentally Friendly” R-410 Refrigerant System, should I follow their advice? – June 6th 2013

HVAC Expert Answer from David Rivera, President of Efficient Home Solutions: This is a question that is best answered by each individual client after they have been given all the available options and have had a chance to evaluate their individual circumstances at the particular time. The environmentally conscious and most energy efficient answer is: Yes, you should replace your current AC R-22 condenser and coil with a more efficient R-410 refrigerant system.

With the exception of the impact on your checking or savings account, the replacement and upgrade of your Condenser, Coil and Furnace with a High Efficiency matched system is more likely to be the most cost effective solution in the long term. HVAC service technicians proposing this solution along with a few other available options are providing sound advice that should help not only keep your home more comfortable, but allow your system to run at a more efficient level.

Example: 10 year-old Carrier complete HVAC system including: R-22-Outdoor Condenser, R-22-Indoor Coil and Indoor Furnace; with a diagnostic finding of a leak in the Evaporator R-22-Indoor Coil.

I’d also invite you to review some of the EHS’s High Efficiency HVAC systems here.

The client who asked the above question has a number of options at their disposal:

1. Replace the leaking R-22 Indoor Coil with another new R-22 Indoor Coil, continue to use your still working Outdoor Condenser and your furnace. This solution is effective and the least expensive option, however this has only a 5-year warranty on the Coil. Also, when the 10 year-old R-22-Outdoor Condenser fails, you will still be need to use the more expensive R-22 refrigerant in your new outdoor condenser or change the metering device(TXV) to upgrade to the new refrigerant if your indoor coil will accommodate the pressures of the R-410 refrigerant.

2. Replace the leaking R-22-Indoor Coil with a new high efficiency matched R-410-Indoor Coil and a new R-410-Outdoor Condenser and continue to use your still working furnace. This solution will provide for higher efficiency cooling in the summer and will provide a 10-year parts warranty on the Condenser and Coil.

3. Replace the leaking R-22-Indoor Coil with a new high efficiency matched R-410-Indoor Coil, new R-410-Outdoor Condenser and a new Indoor Furnace.  This solution will provide for higher efficiency cooling in the summer, high efficiency heating in the winter and will provide a 10 year parts warranty on the entire system.

4. Repairing the leak is not a good investment due to the expense of the repair, loss in efficiency and potential of additional leaks in the already failing coil, however it is sometimes possible

In most cases Option No.3 pays for itself in a very short time frame in Electric and Gas utility bill savings – if you decide to finance the New High Efficiency Heating and Air Conditioning System in many cases the monthly electric and gas bill savings are enough to make the monthly financing payment so there is no out of pocket expense. After the financing term is complete, you can enjoy the savings, the comfort and the peace of mind that you have a system that is still under warranty. Ensure the systems longevity with an annual Maintenance Agreement to remain warranty compliant and you’ll enjoy years of worry free comfort.