Over the past decade, both the U.S. and Canadian governments have directed that all manufacturers of air conditioning equipment stop production of the refrigerant R-22 (Freon) or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These refrigerants have been typically used in air conditioners and heat pumps for the last several decades. The R-22 and HCFC mandates are expected to have the HVAC industry move to a more earth friendly refrigerant with a technical code R410A. R410A has been proven to be safer for the environment.
In late 2010 reputable air conditioning companies began manufacturing Air Conditioning and Heat Pump units, without adding refrigerant at the factory. Such systems are more commonly called “dry charged units”. The units can legally be sold and installed then your local HVAC contractor (such as Rolf Griffin Service Experts ) can charge the unit with R22. R22 is still legal for AC repair or service a while longer. The reason for these Dry Charged Units is to provide the greater Fort Wayne area a more simple and relatively inexpensive replacement option for central air conditioners and heat pumps. However, these units also dodge the spirit of the mandates, which was to wean the industry off less eco-friendly refrigerants.
Fort Wayne homeowners should be aware that these Dry Charged Units are permitted in the U.S. and Canada. Because of the lack of clarity regarding the definition of an outdoor unit in the rules, the entire outdoor unit is technically considered a replacement “part”. Today, condensers or heat pumps intended for use in a replacement R-22 system are often referred to as “Dry Charge” or “Nitrogen Charged” systems. The following are some Frequently Asked Questions about this recent A/C Dry Charge trend.
Do you recommend purchasing a Dry Charge Air Conditioning System?
It depends on a number of things. The best thing to do is understand what types of HVAC equipment the heating and air conditioning industry offers and seek solutions to meet your personal comfort, efficiency and lifestyle needs. Take time to understand the benefits and difference between a dry charge unit and new air conditioning products with R-410A refrigerant.
Reasons to buy an R-410A refrigerant system
Current R-410A systems have many benefits to Fort Wayne homeowners that Dry Charge units do not. A sample of the benefits include:
- Increased energy efficiency for affordable in-home comfort
- Leading technology to reduce humidity
- Current production refrigerant solutions ensuring longer life and extended availability of refrigerant
- Longer warranty periods for even greater peace of mind
- Quieter operation for a more peaceful indoor environment
- Ozone friendly refrigerant that reduces the carbon imprint that negatively impacts our environment
- Matched coil solutions for improved reliability and guaranteed cooling and heating performance
Is it legal to install Dry Charge units?
Yes. There are no Federal laws or legal restriction on the installation of R-22 or Dry Charge Equipment, however, it can only be used as a repair to an existing system.
What about the warranty?
Most manufacturers have a standard 5-year parts warranty on dry charge units. While this provides industry standard protection on the components it does not provide protection against R-22 refrigerant prices, which are expected to increase dramatically.
How expensive will R-22 get in the next few years?
It is likely that as a result of supply and demand, R-22 refrigerant will become more expensive. As the phase out process of R22 continues, new R-22 refrigerant production will slowly be reduced, with full elimination of its production in 2020. Until that time however, indications are that there will likely be sufficient supply to meet the current demand.
If you have more questions about refrigerant, we encourage you to contact Rolf Griffin Service Experts for clarification.