R-22 Air Handler replacement vs. brand new r410A system? Compressor Life?


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Old 05-11-12, 06:45 PM
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R-22 Air Handler replacement vs. brand new r410A system? Compressor Life?

Hello all,

I needed a few professional opinions from you fine people on a decision that I cannot seem to make on my own on whether to replace an old r22 air handler or buy a brand new 13 SEER r410 Cool-Only system.

Here is the problem which I posted on an old thread:
I need a new R-22 air handler to match my 10 SEER 4 ton Payne condenser PA10JA048-H. The R-22 condenser is 7 years old and running without any problems so far.

I have gotten 2 viable solutions from an hvac contractor that I was referred to. The first solution is to replace the rusty old air handler with a new one to match the Payne Condenser's 4 ton capacity; total estimated cost $2200 parts+labor. The second solution is to totally replace both units, including line sets with a brand new r410A system; total estimated cost $5500 parts+labor.

Now my questions for you fine folks, which option would you choose? Consider that the condenser was well taken care of and was given annual coil baths with simple green. I treated the condenser like a newborn baby. How long would you suggest a condenser would last if you have taken care of it so much? Please also take into consideration that the condenser was working on overtime to meet the thermostat demand since it was connected to a weak, rusted, 3 ton air handler from the 1980's. How long does a Central AC compressor last for? I am 90% certain it's a reciprocating compressor which has alot more moving parts when compared to a scroll compressor.

The business punch line that the contractor always gives me is that the r-22 repairs will be expensive in the future and I should just replace the whole unit with r410A system. I understand and researched the phase-out; no doubt he is right but I know there will always be a market for r22 until the units are completely phased out but that won't be till a while. If the contractor is right, why not just have a 25lb tank of r22 in your toolshed for possible future repairs by a certified hvac tech?

Also, I know I could purchase an r22 condenser later on since there are still some warehouses selling them for dirt cheap.

Please help me decide, it might seem like a no-brainer but I wanted to know your thoughts. I think I'm the type of consumer that knows too much about everything but I always know that I don't know all the answers and it is viable to ask a few professionals for un-biased advice.
 

Last edited by Pastalover; 05-11-12 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 05-12-12, 11:41 AM
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There are environmentally safe substitutes now for R-22; they will be reasonably priced.

Why do so many have 4 or 5-Ton condensers?

Everyone ought to be doing weatherization & reducing the size of their equipment. Most 4-Ton systems don't have nearly enough airflow, so thy don't deliver near the Btuh of their rating.

If you can get 1400-CFM out of that 3-ton air handler, that's 350-CFM per ton of cooling for the 4-Ton unit & will work.

Though, you have to check the actual CFM going through the cooling coil; & also CFM should be checked to each room.

If the air handler will last until the A/C fails, then you can do what I advised above...Then I'd replace everything with smaller more efficient equipment & a more efficient airflow system.
 
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Old 05-12-12, 02:13 PM
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Hmm, I suppose I would go with the air handler. The coil in the new air handler shouldnt leak for about 12 years so i say Air handler. But they are removing the freon r22 from the market. but you shouldnt have to worry about freon for atleast 12 years assuming its used for strictly cool. They claim to have safe r22 substitutes, but if they worked, then why the switch to R410A Puron? Why, because the substitutes dont work. Why are you talking about cfm's? he is gonna get a 4 ton air handler.
 
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Old 05-12-12, 07:16 PM
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Thank you all for your replies. Alot of things to consider. HVAC RETIRED, you're right on the cfm aspect. If max cfm is not achieved then the max btu output is not achieved. Do you know of a device that measures CFM+static pressure that I can buy?

In New York, my home needs a 3.5-4 ton since it is 2600 sqft with 2 floors. I use a dehumidifier in the basement and it is completely cut off from central air, turned the 6x12 rigid into a laundry chute instead. Speaking of weatherizing, I did purchase extra R30 unfaced fiberglass rolls for my attic but didn't have time to complete the project yet as I wanted the area of the air handler to be easy to access and replace.

ender2272, I was actually just thinking of replacing the air handler to save some money but I am concerned with my r22 compressor's life span. It did work overtime over the past 7 years and I have no idea how long these reciprocating compressors are supposed to last for. I remember hot days when the compressor would not turn off from 11am to 5pm.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 10:05 PM
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I would change the air handler if the outdoor unit isn't significantly oversized.

Since the air handler won't match up perfectly with the outdoor unit (10 seer is obsolete), ask for a txv type metering device. (google it for more info)

concerned with my r22 compressor's life span. It did work overtime over the past 7 years and I have no idea how long these reciprocating compressors are supposed to last for.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ai...#ixzz1uuaUQkNh
If it wasn't abused by the installer, it should last a while.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 10:09 PM
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...on second thought, your unit is a builder's grade model (cheaply built) - don't put any money into it.

A load calc should be done to see if you can downsize.
 
 

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