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Air Conditioning Manufacturers Now Offering R22 Compatible Condensers

R22 Refrigerant

The United States prohibited the manufacturing of R22 (Freon) charged air conditioners effective January 1, 2010, forcing manufacturers to produce R410A (Puron) charged air conditioners instead. Unlike R22, R410A refrigerant does not contain hydrofluorcarbon which damages the ozone. This environmentally friendly law has placed an economic burden on consumers. In the past, if your evaporator coil or your condenser failed, you could, in most cases, replace only the failed equipment. Because your cooling system circulates refrigerant between your evaporator coil and your condenser and because R22 and R410A can never mix, you cannot replace your R22 condenser coil with one of the new R410A condensers if your evaporator coil uses R22 and visa versa. It initially appeared that under the new law, if one of the two units failed, the homeowner would be forced to replace both units.

Hybrid Evaporator Coils to the Rescue

As 2010 approached, manufacturers found a way around this problem for consumers whose evaporator coils fail. They designed an R410A evaporator coil which could be converted, through the installation of an R22 compatible thermal expansion valve (TXV), to work with R22 refrigerant. This meant that if the R22 condenser was still operating properly, the homeowner could replace just the evaporator coil. The only extra expense would be the cost of the thermal expansion valve and, in some cases, a hard-start kit to help the old condenser work with the new coil. Once the condenser unit reaches the end of its lifespan and is replaced with an R410A condenser, the R22 refrigerant can be evacuated from the evaporator coil, the thermal expansion valve can be replaced with one designed to work with R410A refrigerant, and all traces of R22 flushed from the refrigerant lines so that the entire system can be converted to R410A.

Throwing out the Proverbial Baby with the Bath Water

Due to mechanical differences between R410A and R22 condensers, manufacturers could not design a hybrid condenser unit. This has meant that since January 1, 2010, if a condenser failed, the homeowner had to replace both the condenser and the evaporator coil (unless he already had one of the new hybrid evaporator coils). While the new R410A system might eventually pay for itself in energy savings, the cost of having to replace both units at once has posed a serious hardship for many homeowners.

Hope Slips in Through a Loophole - R22 Compatible Nitrogen Charged Condensers Now Available in The Woodlands

Thanks to a loophole in the law prohibiting the manufacturing of R22 charged condensers, Nordyne has come up with a nitrogen charged condenser which can be converted to R22 refrigerant at the time it's installed. The installer simply has to evacuate the nitrogen from the unit, pull a vacuum, and charge the system with R22. Note that Nordyne does not intend for these units to be installed as part of a complete air conditioning system changeout, but to replace only the condenser so that the homeowner does not have to replace an evaporator coil that is still working.

Introducing the Nordyne JS5BD Series

The Nordyne JS5BD-KA/B is a nitrogen charged condenser. Once it has been installed and charged with R22, it will operate at 13 SEER efficiency, provided that it has been matched with the right evaporator coil or air handler. Thanks to its permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor, the Nordyne JS5BD is a relatively quiet condenser unit. Its polyurethene finish over galvanized steel and its 950-hour salt spray finish makes the condenser cabinet fifty-percent more resistant to corrosion than other comparable units. Nordyne has so much confidence in the JS5BD, the unit comes with a ten-year warranty on all parts (product registration required).

At the time this article went to e-press, word had it that some other manufacturers were producing nitrogen charged R22 compatible condensers. ACU Air is presently investigating which suppliers are offering this equipment and the mechanical integrity of these units.

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ACU Air Heating and Air Conditioning is located in The Woodlands - Conroe area, thirty miles north of Houston. ACU Air Heating and Air Conditioning sells, installs, inspects, services, and repairs residential and light commercial air conditioning and heating equipment. Locally owned and operated, ACU Air prides itself on its courteous, expertly trained staff. We are state licensed, EPA certified, and fully insured. If you live in or around The Woodlands - Conroe area, call us today for your cooling and heating needs. TACLB014226E