R22 vs. 410A and SEER Ratings

leah_1216June 28, 2011

ok, so i've been told that R22 offers better cooling than 410A. Also, there are still R22 units being shipped "dry", and filled on-site. The end date for these units is 2025. Though, most contractors want to go with the 410A. I recently replaced 1 zone with 410A, and there is a noticeable difference vs. my old unit. Any thoughts?

Also, how high a SEER rating is really necessary?


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SEER rating? I think 13 is what's out there now.

SEER is a measure of efficiency. Higher efficiency means lower power bills.

So a simple question would be, how low do you want your power bills to be?

The problem is, if you look at pricing, each point of additional SEER costs more and more per point in dollars. In my opinion (not based in fact), the sweet spot is around 15/16.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 7:30PM
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Who told you R22 condensers offer better cooling than 410A condensers? Did they explain what they mean by "better".

There is no SEER rating which is necessary. In very hot climates it may be cost effective to spend additional money of a more efficient unit.

Buying an AC condenser solely on its SEER rating is equivalent to buying a car based on its miles per gallon rating. It is one factor to consider, but certainly not the most important. In both cases your mileage (electricity savings) will vary.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 10:14PM
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thanks for your replies. An a/c technician said, based on his years of experience, that the recent installs he's done with 410A have resulted in lots of complaints from customers that don't feel their homes are as cool as when they had R22 based cooling units. Personally, having replaced 1 zone in my home last summer with 410A, I have to agree. The other zone in my home is powered with a R22 condenser and there is clearly a difference in cooling.

I know not to purchase a condenser solely on its SEER. Energy efficiency will be effected by other home factors, like insulation, windows, etc. But, since the higher the SEER, the higher the cost, I don't want to overbuy.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:01PM
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Is the new 410A unit the same size as the R22 unit it replaced? If it is, then you most likely have an installation problem. The actuall delivered BTUs of the unit may vary as much as 5% over their nomimal rating, but I don't think it is enough that you would notice it.

I have replaced R22 condensers in my home with 410A units. The cooling performance is better with the new units. I have heard no compliants from my neighbors who have also done replacements.

The 410A refrigerant operates at higher pressures. A proper installation is key to correct operation. In addition the higher efficienty equipment has more items which need to be set up properly. Some old techs may not have the new skills on how to do it properly.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 11:14AM
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I dropped from a r22 3.5 ton builders grade heat pump to a 3 ton r410a and sealed all of my ducts and fixed sizing issues and its 98 degrees outside and the stat is set and maintaining 76 degrees with 45% humidity.

15.5 seer with txv compared to a 13 seer piston orifice with horribly leaky ducts. Sealing the ducts is where I spent the least amount of money and save the most.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 6:41PM
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It seems that almost all of the replacement units i've changed out this year have been the Dry units. People in my area of the country are pretty strapped for cash and a dry unit is a perfect solution to get them up and cooling. They don't come with a good warranty (5 years), compaired to the 410A York equipment i install (10 years inside & out) but like i said, it gets them going. The 410A equipment we install seems to actually be cooling better than than the 22 systems. I think alot of it has to do with the X13 or the vari-spd blowers that are usually matched with them. Also, we've been taking more time in our ductwork assembly, making sure that we have no air leakage. I think overall, people are more aware of what it cost to operate their a/c and if they can afford a full upgrade, it would be to their advantage.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 3:53PM
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