Austin Air Companie Blog : Archive for September, 2016

R22 Freon Production Ban

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Oh that pesky little government is at it again… LOL. Certainly I’ve heard it all when it comes to politics in general. But you’d be surprised to know that the laws effecting R22 Freon production now (2016 and beyond) were finalized and signed by the USA in 1987 via the Montreal Protocol and ratified in 1988. The Montreal Protocol has been amended only 4 times since 1987. This agreement was an international agreement that has been signed by 197 countries.

Freon Production Ban Time Line Chart

So why are you just now learning about this now if it happened in 1987? Part of it was to give time to come up with a new refrigerant to replace the old bad one. There are many refrigerants, all with varying properties to one degree or another. Some refrigerants make poor choices due to flammability concerns, others may not distribute oil thru the system properly and cause reliability concerns in regards to the break down of the system compressor. There are many more concerns than these but to keep this short I will stop there.

R22 Freon Replacement

As of 2016 there is no ‘approved’ drop in replacement for R22 Freon for high temp application otherwise known as Air Conditioning. Choosing an unapproved refrigerant will void ‘ANY’ manufacturer warranty, increase utility cost to run the system, reduce capacity of the system, cause the system to not cool properly in heat wave conditions, cause the compressor to fail prematurely due to improper oil return to the compressor.

As of 2016 there is only one proven refrigerant for the future and the name of this refrigerant is R410a. It is sometimes improperly referred to as Freon or a more popular proper trade name it is called Puron. R410a refrigerant is not a drop in replacement for R22 Freon. Refrigerants can not be mixed and work properly, nor can you use R410a in a air conditioner that was designed for R22 Freon, it simply will not work ‘reliably’. The AC system must be replaced with equipment designed to work with R410a. Air Conditioning systems are engineered and designed to operate with a specific refrigerant. For reliable operation of the AC system one must know what they are doing and use the appropriate refrigerant for the system in question.

There are many unscrupulous vendors and those that claim there are some refrigerants that can be used to replace R22 Freon. When it comes to the high temp air conditioning application these claims are false. The nature of a con game is something that will ‘easily’ solve a problem. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying… “if it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.” But yet people over and over again fall for these snake oil AC repairs.

The notion behind these so called remedies is by giving you a cheap price up front. The system may run for a few months if you are lucky and probably not much longer than a year depending on a multitude of factors like loads on the equipment, line set length, age of the equipment, the heat load the system is running in and so on.

Residential AC Compressor Problems

When doing things improperly to save money up front the end result is most often a dead compressor or a AC system that will not cool properly during a heat wave as well as high utility bills. The money you supposedly saved up front will dry up in no time when it can’t perform properly during a heat wave. The more you run the system during a heat wave the more likely you are to burn up the compressor (*If you run the machine with an improper refrigerant*) due to a lack of oil return to the compressor crankcase. (The compressor will seize up under this scenario.)

Your AC will not work without the compressor. That is a major component so now you’re most likely looking at a new air conditioning unit when this part fails.

An air conditioning system (just about any brand) is a 15 year appliance when installed and maintained properly. If you decide to play games with it, try to cut corners, try to reverse engineer things like using the proper virgin refrigerant the system was designed for as well as proper installation procedures it is unlikely to make it past even a few years without some significant problem.

There is special equipment required to be able to install an air conditioner properly. If you use an unlicensed person to install your system there is a good chance they don’t have the proper equipment to install the AC system properly. How will you know for sure that they do or don’t have all the tools and materials needed to install the AC system?

An improperly installed air conditioning system is the last kind of mess you want to have to deal with in your home. There are good reasons that manufacturer’s require licensed HVAC contractors to install the system in order to offer any warranty on the HVAC equipment.

You know what the cure for doing it wrong is? To do it over again. You don’t want to do that do you? These words are intended to help you avoid making a serious mistake.

The comfort in your home or lack thereof can wreck havoc on your finances. It is a financial decision and one you should not take lightly. Do it right the first time.

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope I gave you some valuable insight in this AC blog topic to help you with this challenging problem regarding R22 Freon and the change over to R410a Puron. Remember R22 Freon is going away. It is not coming back. It is in your best interest to upgrade your system by replacing it with an R410a engineered air conditioner.

If you have a Freon leak in your evaporator coil you can replace the evaporator coil only but under this scenario you would continue to use virgin R22 Freon. As time gets closer to 2020 there ‘may’ not be any R22 Freon available at any price. There is no way to know for sure what will happen until it does. Using non compatible refrigerants is not recommended under any circumstances.

The days of recharging an air conditioning system are pretty much over. The refrigerant leak(s) must be found and repaired.

About the author of this air conditioning blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @
www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

A Better Air Conditioning & Heating System

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Typically when you think of discussions about what makes one AC system better than another, the subject often gets turned into discussions about particular brands or manufacturer’s of said air conditioning equipment. This discussion winds up being anything productive as it is rarely about what is important to you and the comfort you will obtain for your home. Getting on the this brand is better than this brand band wagon is not going to help you any in my opinion. So then what is the best air conditioning system when it comes to addressing real issues in regards to your comfort not to mention indoor air quality? I like to call this: ‘The Devil Is In The Details’!

Note: This article is to describe what is better from a whole HVAC system approach with functions and benefits of this kind of HVAC equipment. These HVAC systems are not piece meal type systems. The whole HVAC system replacement approach has additional benefits other than what is discussed here. Never underestimate the importance of a great HVAC installation as well as a HVAC company known for repairing such systems, regardless of whether you are replacing one piece or the whole HVAC system all at once. There is no substitute for great service.

Humidity Control & Dehumidification

In a humid location like Katy, Texas it’s amazing that more HVAC systems in this area aren’t geared for controlling humidity better than what they do. The problem is that single speed air conditioning systems ‘over cool’ the air and cycle off too quickly in cooler weather to combat this problem properly. The AC system is controlled by temperature and nothing else and due to single speed operation of the system most of the time the unit cycles too soon to really control humidity in the home much at all.

Better humidity control will make you feel much more comfortable at higher temperatures than you would without it. What makes this problem so difficult to address is that humidity is independent from temperature. In a humid climate like Katy, Texas it can be humid even when temperatures dip below typical cooling temperatures. If it’s 75 degrees outside and 80% or higher humidity that is not very comfortable. With a 75 degree outside temperature your indoor single speed AC system isn’t going to run long enough to make you feel as comfortable as you could be in high humidity. The humidity levels in your home can easily be greater than 65% RH (relative humidity).

Did you know that RH readings of 60% or more inside your home can cause mold growth under the right conditions? Mold growth can contribute to an assortment of indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns. Humidity is something that is very important to your health as well as your comfort. You can test this yourself by buying a humidity meter for your home. Realize this reading will fluctuate just as much as temperature does during the various seasons of the year.

Whole Home Dehumidification Systems

This type of dehumidification system is a separate system that works with your current HVAC system. It has a separate control and it’s only job is to dehumidify the air in your home. This ultimately would be the best way to control humidity in your home. The problem with this option is cost. Part of this cost is the system itself, maintenance of that system and operational costs. It is estimated that running this type of system in a humid climate can add an additional 30% to your monthly electric bill. If you have two HVAC systems in your home that can get pretty costly of a consideration.

The real advantage to a whole home dehumidification system is that you could add it to your existing HVAC system without replacing any of that equipment. Over time operational costs and maintenance costs may become prohibitive for many home owners to consider this option.

HVAC Systems With Dehumidification Control

Humidity control with these systems is probably not the proper term to use. As I said earlier in this blog post, humidity in the home is a complex problem to solve because humidity is independent from temperature. So in many respects humidity control via your HVAC system is derived via an assortment of varying degrees of options or choices.

Some single speed AC systems can offer a degree of dehumidification control depending upon the furnace that the AC system is matched with. However, in my opinion it is very little difference than what you would have via just a single speed air conditioner and basic thermostat control. Part of the issue with this is ‘over cooling’ already mentioned. Because a single speed air conditioner delivers full capacity every time it turns on. During cooler and humid periods humidity control with this system would prove futile in most situations.

Multi Speed HVAC Systems

You see your air conditioner is really a dehumidification device. It is dehumidifying the air every time it runs. However, it is mostly controlled by temperature alone. Over capacity will cause the unit to cycle more and not run long enough to dehumidify the air. By installing a multi stage HVAC system or multi speed HVAC system you get better humidity control just by the way these particular HVAC systems run most of the time as opposed to a single speed AC system.

There are 2 speed air conditioners, 2 stage air conditioners, 5 speed air conditioners as well as variable speed air conditioners. The 2 speed and 2 stage AC variety more or less operate in first speed or first stage before enabling second speed or second stage. While running in speed 1 or stage 1 the system is running at a reduced cooling capacity which causes the system to run longer. This reduced cooling capacity could vary from 50% to 60 or 70% of the overall capacity of the HVAC system. Because the AC runs in this first stage most of the time it will run longer and dehumidify the air better than that of a single speed AC. The more speeds or stages the AC has the better it will control variations of the load of the home, the longer the system will run which in turn reduces and controls humidity better.

Dehumidification of these multi stage HVAC systems is included in normal operation of the unit when it cycles as well as a band of control via the thermostat controller of the system in question.

Indoor Air Quality & Air Filtration

Another benefit with these dehumidification enabled HVAC systems is that you get the best comfort for your home as well as better indoor air quality. You could add better filtration to one of these systems and attack the indoor air quality on both fronts… moisture content of the air as well as dust particle filtration. This is the best and proper way to address indoor air quality concerns.

If you suffer from allergies, asthma or other air quality problems I have the solution for you. Not all indoor air quality solutions are created equal. Over the years many IAQ systems have come to market that produce ozone. It has since been determined that ozone in any amount is not good for you and over time can actually make your symptoms worse.

Many times within the HVAC industry, solutions are often given by treating a symptom rather than addressing the real problem. I often refer to these as gimmicks bent on selling you something without really do much for you or putting the interest of selling you something just for the sake of selling you something ahead of what your true goals are. You would probably get more mileage out of chasing your own tail.

I go to the extent I go, to show you the right way to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Stay in the loop and subscribe to my You Tube Channel here. The solutions I offer are solutions that work. Why would you want anything other than that?

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope I helped you understand things more clearly in regards to finding comfort options for your home. As always, I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this air conditioning blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.