One of my rites of Texas spring, every April or May, comes after I switch on my home aircon device for the first time in the yr — and warm air blows out. My AC guy comes over and provides a couple of pounds of Freon refrigerant to the system. Suddenly, I need to grab a sweatshirt. Also, every 12 months, like clockwork, my AC guy — and there are now not only one here — attempts to promote a new unit.
He explains that the vintage refrigerant, Freon R-22, may be phased out by January 2020. Yeah, certain, OK. Whatever. Just deliver me multiple pounds, and I’ll see you next year. If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably heard a few versions of this income rap, too. But this yr become one-of-a-kind.
While warm air blew out the different weeks, my annual 2-pound Freon leak had grown to a record 8 pounds. That’s an environmental change. My penalty? The fee for a pound of Freon (a registered trademark of the Chemours Co.) from this agency went from $65, consistent with the pound remaining 12 months, to $95, compatible with the pound this yr. I decided that spending extra than $700 for a recharge didn’t make sense. I did something you can no longer want to do.
I fell for the rap. I converted my gadget to a brand new refrigerant called R410A, called Puron. I spent thousands buying a new condenser, evaporator coil, and brand-new refrigerant.
Was it essential?
After a long time in use, manufacturing R-22 involves a halt in 8 months utilizing authorities’ orders. It’s essential enough to store the ozone stage in the environment that the federal authorities mandated this segment-out to make manner for the brand new refrigerant. You don’t need to make the conversion. But the fee of Freon is possibly going to climb and climb, so it’s nearly prohibitive to hold its usage. That’s the plan.
I shouldn’t do it. I may want to have saved pouring money into recharges. I could have requested them to find the leak and try to seal it. I should have tried to transform my machine for a decreased fee without upgrading all the components. Maybe. I decided to leap.
Should you? Ask a professional
The Watchdog worries about homeowners and landlords who don’t have the cash to pay for HVAC conversions. So I referred to Roy Jones, president of the Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association, for steerage. He’s the commercial sales manager for a Lubbock HVAC organization. “To me,” he stated, “the government has positioned the consumer in a bad role.”
“The customers are looking to depend upon their provider to manual them,” he says. “And quite a few human beings in the industry are also stressed because it’s now not clean. Even the Environmental Protection Agency is not clear on its tips.”
Is this necessary?
Jones says you may use the antique Freon, but you’ll discover businesses promoting recycled Freon — probably at a higher value. “Consumers may need to call around and test pricing with sellers,” he informed me. The price of a pound of Freon relies upon a provider’s markup.
The value of a machine switch-over like I had can run from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on what’s involved, Jones said. “The first component you need to do is see if the leak can be fixed,” he said.
It’s a chance.
Do you want to take the hazard, make repairs, and wish the gadget would keep out? Or do you want to wave the white flag, surrender, and help save the ozone (but now not necessarily your pocketbook)? “In many instances, the device should be replaced that might be repaired or changed, due to the dealer’s advice,” he stated.
I translate that to mean: Don’t always agree with what you hear. Check it out. Getting 2d and 1/3 evaluations/bids from distinct companies is the nearest path to take.
Jones says, “It’s simply not going to be chief trouble. It’s not going to be a disaster.” AC gadgets installed after 2010 are imagined to use the new refrigerant already. Note: If you live within the Oncor service place, you may qualify for “incentives starting from $300 as much as $3,000,” in step with Oncor’s internet site. Your supplier can help with that. It relies upon what form of setup is executed and the property proprietor’s geographic area.