Recently, a friend of ours had an HVAC problem in their home. By “problem,” I mean their system was not working at all. Fortunately for them, the AC didn’t break down in the heat of summer.
What we found upon inspection of the 4-ton system in their home in the heights was that the system was very low on refrigerant. We found the leak within the evaporator coil. Like most leaks in the coil, the leak was nearly impossible to fix. This particular HVAC system operates on R-22 refrigerant, which was phased out in favor of 410-A.
This puts homeowners in quite the conundrum: Do you replace both the coil and the condenser to convert to 410A or just replace the coil? The first option costs several thousand dollars more but provides you with new equipment and a higher warranty. It’s also better for the environment. The secondary option is to replace the evaporator coil with a flowrater, which can operate 410 AND R22, and take the gamble that the condenser will continue working for a while.
In most cases, we recommend to convert to the new refrigerant type and pay the additional cost. However, we always want to discuss and give full disclosure for customers to make a fully informed decision. We encourage homeowners to take their current costs, future costs, efficiency gains and plans for the home into account to find the best solution.