Over the past decade, both the U.S. and Canadian governments have mandated that all makers of air conditioning equipment halt 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 suppose to have the HVAC industry shift to a more environmentally friendly refrigerant with a technical label R410A. R410A has been verified to be safer for the environment.
In late 2010 the majority of air conditioning manufacturers began manufacturing Air Conditioning and Heat Pump units, without adding refrigerant at the factory. These systems are more commonly called “dry charged units”. The units can legally be sold and installed then your local HVAC contractor (such as Robinson Service Experts ) can charge the unit with R22. R22 is still legal for AC repair or service for a short time longer. The reason for these Dry Charged Units is to offer the greater Waukegan area a more simple and affordable replacement option for central air conditioners and heat pumps. However, these units also bypass the spirit of the mandates, which was to wean the industry off less eco-friendly refrigerants.
Waukegan homeowners should know that these Dry Charged Units are allowed in the U.S. and Canada. Taking advantage of an unclear definition of the outdoor unit in these policies, the entire outdoor unit is technically deemed a replacement “part”. As a result, condensers or heat pumps intended for use in a replacement R-22 system are now referred to as “Dry Charge” or “Nitrogen Charged” systems. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about this recent A/C Dry Charge trend.
Do you recommend purchasing a Dry Charge Air Conditioning System?
The answer to this question hinges on a number of things. The most important thing to do is learn what types of HVAC equipment the heating and air conditioning industry has to offer and seek solutions to address 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.
Top reasons for buying an R-410A system
Current R-410A systems have many benefits to Waukegan homeowners that Dry Charge units do not. A sample of the benefits include:
- Greater energy efficiency for comfort at a cost savings
- Leading technology to lower humidity
- Current production refrigerant solutions guaranteeing longer life and extended availability of refrigerant
- Extended warranty periods for even greater peace of mind
- Quieter operation for a more peaceful indoor environment
- Ozone friendly refrigerant for lower impact on the environment
- Matched coil solutions for enhanced reliability and guaranteed cooling and heating performance
Are Dry Change Air Conditioning Unit legal to install?
Definitely. 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 established 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, the refrigerant will probably go up in price. As the phase out process of R22 continues, new R-22 refrigerant production will progressively 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 Robinson Service Experts for clarification.