Replace Now or Wait it out

bill-rJuly 10, 2009

I have two York Split System Heat Pumps:

a 3.5 ton (1991) Model: E2HB042S06A SN: MHYM241017 with Air Handler (2004) Model: F2FP048H06G SN: (S) XHNS238850 and

a 3 ton (1991) Model: E2HB036S06A SN: MHYM253130 with Air Handler (1991) Model: N2AHD14A06C SN: ELYS194988.

I do not know the longevity of the York equipment but at 18 years, I probably will have to replace the Heat Pump units within 4 years. This is particularly true of the upstairs 3 ton unit which runs more than down stairs and has trouble maintaining a 75 degree setting in the 100+ degree days we have been having in Texas.

Any failures after 1 Jan 2010 would mean I would have to use R-410A units due to lack of availability of R-22 new installs. I have also been told I would have to install new lines because of the 65% higher pressure if I go to R-410A. The run from the outside to the inside is 40 feet and would involve significant structural repairs. I have read other concerns with the maturity of the R-410A equipment and the R-410A experience of installers. The manufacturers have expressed no concerns and have pressed ahead with R-410A. Any push for substitutes or "Drop-ins" for R-22 such as RS-44 seems to have died.

Since R-22 cannot be used for new units installed after 1 Jan 2010, if I want to avoid the problems of installing new lines, I would have to buy R-22 equipment now and have them installed prior to 1 Jan 2010. In the future I will have to be willing to pay more for repairs.

My options are as follows:

1. Due to limited availability, purchase R-22 replacements now for all or some of the 1991 vintage R-22 equipment and install it before 1 Jan 2010.

2. Do nothing. Wait for new equipment that operates at R-22 pressures. This would mean that if something went wrong with the R-22 equipment I would have to have expensive repairs done that could include replacing the compressor.

Does this make any sense? What am I missing?

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mike_near_dallas

Bill, I got a Carrier quote last night and the dealer told me my 15 year old copper lines are thicker and better quality than new copper lines made today in China, so I am not sure why your pressure would be a problem. Manufacturers no longer recommend replacement, but instead purging with nitrogen. In my 4 quotes, 2 installers recommended replacement based on the "why take a chance on $8000 worth of equipment?" thinking, 2 didn't. Why do you think new equipment will be developed to work at lower pressures in the near future?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 12:39AM
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rpfingsten

Bill... noticed a few similarities between your situation and mine... first you said your in texas.. My wife and I live in Shreveport, La which is just 30 minutes from the texas border so I am familiar with these hot and high humidity days we have, and like you both of my heat pump systems were close to the age of your units... mine ( a 5 ton and a 2 Ton ) both went out at 17 years of age. When I replaced our units I used a trusted contractor who is also a family friend. He did not replace the linesets and when I asked him about that he basically told me as long as the lines are cleaned out well there wouldn't be an issue. It's been 9 months since the installation and so far no problems. In fact these new units greatly outperform my old carriers ( new units are not carriers ) and keep the house cooler and with lower humidity without raising my electric bill. I wont bore anyone with all the details but if you're interested in the equipment you can email me @ Rpfing@aol.com Please put "heat pumps" in the message line to keep me from deleting mail from "unknown" sources. In any event, good luck and stay cool.

Roland

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 5:33AM
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bill-r

Mike,

I hope rather than expect that there will be new equipment and a drop-in refrigerant in the future. It makes no sense to me that consumers are allowing themselves to be pushed around by the equipment manufacturers just so the manufacturers can make more money by replacing all the equipment. The fact that R-410A is only a partial "green" product and not an answer relative to CO2 also gives me hope that some of the environmentalists will take notice. If there really is a problem with R-410A and synthetic oil contamination then four or five years from now we may see a rash of failures that will add more pressure (pun unintentional) for a better replacement for existing installations. I am probably going with R-22 but still have the feeling that I do not have all the info.

Bill-R

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 11:25AM
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