Replace Now or Wait it out
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?