The Phase Out of R-22
R-22 Refrigerant has been around for decades and has been used in residential, commercial and restaurant equipment.
As of Jan 1, 2010 the EPA began the phase out of R-22 and the new standard is R-410a.
You CANNOT convert your R-22 unit to use R-410a.
The unit must be replaced as R-410a runs as much higher pressures than R-22.
Jan 1, 2020 was the end of R-22 production but there are lots of replacements so there is no need to worry.
The price for R-22 has increased dramatically. $100 per pound has been quite common.
If you have a leaking unit, merely 'charging it up' as many have done in the past will be expensive and is not recommended.
Your unit will continue to leak until it is repaired or the unit is replaced if repair is not possible.
'Leak stop' that is sold by some shops does not last if it works at all. Don't be fooled into wasting your money.
Air conditioners hold a varying amount of refrigerant. A typical 'split system', (meaning 2 pieces with an air handler or furnace inside and a condenser outside), will hold from 4-8 lbs for a small system to 15-25lbs for a larger split system. (Small = 2-3 tons Large = 3.5 - 5 tons).
A 'Package Unit' will hold from 5 - 13 lbs in most cases.
A good way for you to check the performance of your unit is to measure the 'split'. Take a thermometer and place it in the filter grill and read the 'return air' temperature. Then move it over to a 'supply register' and read the temperature there. The minimum difference should be 17 - 18 deg F.
Return Air Temp - 80
Supply Air Temp - 63
Split - 17 degrees
During the drier months of the year your split can get up to 20 - 23 degrees.
When the humidity comes up during the monsoon season it will come down to 17 - 18 degrees because the evaporator coil is saturated with water thus reducing the heat transfer.
If you're on the lower end of the scale your unit will run longer. It's important to get up around 18 deg F or so.
Your technician should be able to get it there unless there's a problem with the unit.
Remember to change your filters every time you pay your electric bill if not more often.
If you live in the city where it's less dusty than say the desert or you are surrounded by farm fields, use the thinner fiberglass filters and spray furniture polish on each side when replacing them. This lets the unit breath better.
If you have kids or animals coming and going a lot or live in a very dusty area as I do you might consider a heavier filter to stop the light dust but you will have to change them often, 2-3 times a month during the summer is not uncommon.
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