Converting from R22 to R410?

Old 06-10-15, 10:21 AM
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Converting from R22 to R410?

As I've disclosed in other forums during my recent flurry of activity, I'm readying my house for sale. One of the items on my list is fixing the A/C which has been leaking freon (Yes, I'm to blame for the hole in the ozone, but the system was probably leaking before I bought the house and I haven't used it in a couple of years. Please forgive me.)

Five years ago, a certified tech sold me a charge and the subject of repairing didn't come up. Two years ago, when he came back and sold me a recharge, if memory serves, he used a sniffer to find the leak. I do know that he wanted to replace the inside coil, but his father was going to have to look up a price and when he left a message a week or two later, I never got around to returning his call.

Last year, once again it was out of freon, but since it was a relatively cool summer, I just bought a couple of window units and for the rest of the house, I used the big attic fan.

Now I'm readying the house for sale and have to cover myself for the disclosure forms. As I see it, I have three options. I could replace the leaking coil with one that runs R-22; I could replace whatever is necessary to convert the system to R410 or I could disclose that the system needs to be upgraded.

As I was scheduling the appointment for the repair person to come -- apparently the person whose call I didn't return two years ago isn't returning mine, so I've started with the company that sold the system, though it has changed hands -- I asked the scheduler about their supply of parts. She said that depending on whether "it's a TRV or a piston" to convert the old system, they had some on hand.

Hopefully, some of you nice people in this forum would be willing to help educate me on what to listen or watch for in my conversation with the technician and anything I should read in advance. I have found some threads, but most of them are more about whether it's cost effective to upgrade instead of repair. Though I've been living here for six years, I'm gone in two weeks. Upgrading isn't really an investment to me. My goal is to get the system working in the least wasteful way possible in time to sell.

(I'm also planning to withhold the whole moving thing from the tech unless they're insistent on trying to sell me a complete new system, then my plan would be to couch it as bird-in-the-hand)

Thanks for any and all help.

ETA: The outside unit is a Carrier, if that helps.

Last edited by TryAgain; 06-10-15 at 11:06 AM.
Old 06-10-15, 12:45 PM
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Replacing the evaporator coil will likely be the cheapest solution, however it may not be the best long-term solution. However, I understand why you're not necessarily interested in the best long-term solution. If it were me, I would get an estimate to repair the current unit but not repair it. Tell the prospective buyer that the A/C has a leak and that you have an estimate to repair it and offer the repair cost as a concession. Then the prospective buyer can decide whether to repair the existing system or spend somewhat more for a possible better long-term solution.
Old 06-10-15, 01:45 PM
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replace the system! If i was looking at your house it would look better to me with a new system.
Old 06-10-15, 03:15 PM
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What would be involved in replacing the system? If one were to do it right, they'd replace the too small unit with a split system. While my house has a few advantages, the largest employer in the area is headed toward downsizing which could have a ripple effect. I don't know that a full replacement would add anything to the appraised value which is another consideration. What is the bare minimum that I could replace for R410, leaving the rest for the next owner to do. (Like mine did six years ago, I'm sure their home inspector will point out that the current unit is too small)


ETA: Right now I'm leaning toward repair because I'm thinking it'll be $1200 or less (w/ gas). Thoughts?

Last edited by TryAgain; 06-10-15 at 03:50 PM.
Old 06-10-15, 04:36 PM
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I would do nothing and disclose that the air conditioner has a leak and is not operable. That will make it a bit harder to sell and will likely drop the maximum price someone might pay for the house to a figure about $5,000 lower to cover the new system. Then the new owner will have the same dilemma, repair or replace.

If you go to the expense of installing a new system it is doubtful that you will recover much more than 10% of the cost with a higher price on the house although it will make the house sell a bit faster.

Repairing/replacing the evaporator coil is silly in my opinion as the condensing unit would be next to go.
Old 06-10-15, 06:35 PM
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My reading is that I can't just replace the coil with an R410. The scheduler also made it sound like I'll need to replace the TXV (or the piston?) and my search on these forums seems to bear this out. That and some tubing. To upgrade the existing system to 410 would anything else need to be replaced?

(I'd really like something functional, even if it's not ideal. My real estate agent isn't going to mislead anyone or lie and the buyer's home inspector will see what exists, but a couple of thousand now is less than what not having something functional would cost me later, when I'm a thousand miles away)

Last edited by TryAgain; 06-10-15 at 06:57 PM.
Old 06-10-15, 07:11 PM
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No... you can't just change the inside coil to an R-410 type. When you change refrigerants.... both units get replaced and the lines need to be flushed out as the system oils are different.

You can replace the inside coil with another R-22 coil.
Old 06-10-15, 07:22 PM
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r22 and 410 is not compatible. You need line set, condenser, compressor if you upgrade to 410. Basically all new.( Dont let them tell you they can clean it/ flush it... r22 to 410 with a cleaner rarely works)

No way. I would repair r22 in a heart beat if you want it functional.

Whats the cost comparison"?

Just my opinion is all. I go with post #2 and #5

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