Need help! Buy new coil for R-22 unit or go with new condensing unit?

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Old 04-10-13, 09:26 PM
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Exclamation Need help! Buy new coil for R-22 unit or go with new condensing unit?

I hope you-all won't mind but since no one was answering my new questions at my original thread (cold air at 68, heat at 72), I've started this new one to be more specific to the present issue. We have to make a decision pretty quickly and need advice.

The upshot is we have a leak in the coil of our duel-fuel system. We had someone in today who gave us these options:

1. Re-charge the freon for $500+ (but it will leak out again, he said)
2. Replace coil for $2400 (but service for R-22 unit will get expensive)
3. New Carrier "Comfort 13" with puron instead of freon w/new coil at $5800.
4. New Hiel HP Condenser with upflow coil at $5100.
5. New Carrier "Performance Series 15" with coil at $6200.

What we presently have is a Trane XB10, model # 2TWB0042A1000AB.

My husband wondered if we got the new coil now, could we save $ when we later on get a new condensing unit--or would this new coil not be compatible with a newer condensing unit?

Hope you can help!

 
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Old 04-11-13, 11:49 AM
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I have no idea why no one is replying to my message. Guess I'll have to give up on this forum.

But for those of you who have viewed the question, here's the latest in case it's helpful to you:

I called the next most popular hvac company here in Birmingham. The salesman quoted me "roughly $2000" to replace the coil with a 410 ATXV and an R22 TXV. (If I'm getting this right at all, I don't know.)

The good news for us--other than it being almost $500 less than the first company--is that he said we wouldn't lose this money on the coil if we later upgrade the condenser. He's going to come tomorrow (no charge) to check the age of our unit to see if it's still got plenty of life in it. He thinks we ought to get another 5 years out of it since it's only about 10 years old.

The tech who was here yesterday said that yes, we could simply replace the coil, but that servicing the unit would become super expensive because they're not making R22 units anymore. The salesman I spoke with today said that that wasn't necessarily true and sounded like we were being pressured. (no kidding)

So if we end up paying $2000 instead of $6000, we'll be very happy. Planning to fix up the house to move in the next few years, we need that money for other projects.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 01:26 PM
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I have no idea why no one is replying to my message. Guess I'll have to give up on this forum.
Oh, good grief! It hasn't even been 24 hours since your original post. This is an all volunteer forum, no one gets paid anything but the good feeling of helping another person. You need to learn some patience.

As to your question it is a matter of pay me now or pay me later. R-22 equipment IS being phased out and the production of any new R-22 has been stopped. That means that ALL of the R-22 available is recycled and there is a finite supply. Simply put, the cost of R-22 refrigerant has risen significantly since the ban and will continue to rise. If money is tight and you MUST get the A/C operating then replacing just the coil is the least expensive option but over time it will change to a rather expensive option. Installing a coil that is also suitable for R-410a with the expectation that at a later date a new condensing unit could be installed that would be compatible with the replacement coil is, in my opinion, a crap shoot. R-22 is NOT compatible with R-410a and the refrigerant coil along with the line set would have to be chemically cleaned. It is necessary to remove ALL of the oil from the old R-22 system and that is something that is difficult to impossible to be 100% certain. My opinion is that a whole new system is the best for long term economics AND service.

At the very least I would make known the fact that the system has different components when you list the house for sale.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 01:33 PM
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Sorry to annoy you furd, but I had asked these questions on a previous thread and no one was answering them, so I started a new thread. I need to know what to do asap and while I appreciate very much what they do here, I have had to give up on it and go with help I've found on a another website.

Thanks for your advice--that's what a couple guys said on another website. The dealer I've talked to today, however, is saying that since we may move w/in 2 years, we'll never see the benefit of paying for a new unit. I'll have him give us a price though when he comes tomorrow.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 02:39 PM
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I'm not really annoyed, I just want you to realize that there is not a cadre of experts waiting in the wings to pounce on every question within minutes of its posting. You have also learned that "piggy-backing" onto an older, albeit similar, thread is NOT the best way to get a quick answer. It is ALWAYS best to start a new thread.

Having a new(er) complete system may be beneficial in selling your house when that time comes. There is no doubt in my mind that having a system with dissimilar components and of dissimilar ages would be a definite negative selling point.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 02:35 PM
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2nd opinion

I just spoke with another hvac company and this is what the salesman has offered:

1. to replace the R22 TXV with a new one, putting the 410 ATXV in a box on top of it, to be switched out when we need to get a new outdoor unit. I don't really understand where this 410 ATXV is coming from, but apparently we'll be paying for it now and can use it later when the time comes. His company is doing this exact same thing for another local customer who replaced the coil several years ago and is only now replacing the outdoor unit. About $2000 for this.

2. if we want to get a new outdoor unit and coil, he would put in a Trane 13 SEER unit for about $5700--but he seems to be of the opinion that our 2004 unit could last another couple of years.

Thanks for your advice!
 
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Old 04-12-13, 02:40 PM
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he seems to be of the opinion that our 2004 unit could last another couple of years.
That's right......could. There is no guarentee.

In this case.....let your means guide your decision.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 04:11 PM
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So...what do you think of a guy who wants to come out and see if he can simply fix the coil for 600-700 bucks?

As far as our "means"--I'm filling out HELOC paperwork just in case we end up doing the entire thing.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 11:04 PM
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I don't really understand where this 410 ATXV is coming from, but apparently we'll be paying for it now and can use it later when the time comes.
It is not a 410 ATXV but an R-410a (refrigerant type) Thermal Expansion Valve. The TXV is what meters the liquid refrigerant into the evaporator coil. You would need this if ever changing to R-410a from the present R-22 refrigerant. It sounds as if the contractor would be purchasing a coil that comes with the expansion valve and then reusing the expansion valve already in your system.

As for having someone come in and "fix" the coil...I'd be extremely surprised if this person offered any kind of guarantee for their work. Depending on several factors, among them exactly WHERE the leak is in the coil, it could be a good way to go or it could be the same as stuffing your money in the pouch of any large kangaroo you might see at the zoo.
 
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Old 04-13-13, 10:14 AM
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Hey, I am happy to report that I had another company in that will do the whole thing for $2000 less than the other companies. That's a new Trane piggyback system with new t-stat, pad, XB13 SEER, all appropriate warranties, etc. I have a MUCH better feeling about this company than the others and they have an A+ BBB rating with no complaints in 3 years. I am so glad I kept looking--and grateful for your advice!

And yes, I didn't have a very good feeling about the guy insisting he could fix the coil. Told my husband that talking to him was like having your dad insist he could fix something to save you money--and then he ends up making it worse.

Anyway, thanks again. I sure have learned a lot about heating and cooling in these past 10 days! (That's including my questions from my original thread.)
 
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