Austin Air Companie Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Central AC freon leaks’

AC Freon Refrigerant Leaks & High Pressure AC Sales

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

The terms Freon and Refrigerant more or less mean the same thing when people use them in a sentence when referring to an air conditioner’s coolant gas. However, Freon and refrigerant terms are very broad based terms that only attempt to suggest what is really meant.

You see the word Freon is actually a trademark owned originally by Dupont Corporation and is now owned by Chemours Company and the refrigerant term is another broad based term that more or less means the same thing.

Repairing R22 Freon Leaks

Come along with me on a AC repair job I did to eliminate R22 Freon Leaks. Watch the video below.

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Air Conditioning R22 versus R410a Refrigerant

You may be surprised to know that there are literally dozens of refrigerants all uniquely different depending on the application in which the refrigerant was intended to be used. You can’t put gasoline in a diesel engine and expect it to run, just as much as putting the wrong refrigerant in your central air conditioning unit in your home HVAC system. This will not work well and certainly not for very long.

All refrigerants are solvents to one degree or another and some refrigerants are also fuels and so because of flammability concerns they make poor choices for being used as a refrigerant. Propane and Gasoline are good examples of poor refrigerants because of explosion potential.

As refrigerants pertain to the high temp air conditioning market (residential and commercial structures) there are really only 3 refrigerants that represent reasonable long term choices. A few more refrigerants are being considered for the future as of 2018.

The old refrigerant being phased out is R-22. The new refrigerant is R410a. R410a refrigerant is really not all that new. R410a has been around for over 25 years if you can imagine that.

This R410a refrigerant was made by Honeywell in 1991, but was known as Allied Signal back then. The first R410a AC systems for residential use were installed in 1996. Currently many refrigerant companies make R410a refrigerant under licenses provided by Honeywell.

The change over to this new R410a refrigerant has been slow, mostly because equipment must be replaced to be able to use it and because pressures at which this R410a refrigerant operates at is considerably different than the R-22 refrigerant that the HVAC industry has grown accustomed to.

There also can be complications in some structures which can increase the cost to change over in addition to equipment costs. For the longest term and most efficient use, R410a is ultimately best choice for high temperature air conditioning application as of 2018.

R-22 Freon Cost Expected To Keep Rising

Production of R-22, commonly known and referred to as Freon, as it was heavily marketed by Dupont Corporation under that name, can no longer be produced after December 31, 2019 and the amount that can be produced is extremely limited in relation to the demand of it.

When there is strong demand for something with extremely limited supply, prices go up. Supply versus demand.

While warnings of cost increases related to R22 refrigerant have gone out, many are oblivious to what is happening in the residential HVAC market in terms of cost of repair and options on what the home owner can do to repair their AC systems without spending a fortune on repeated R22 recharges.

You have to fix the refrigerant leaks. If you don’t fix the refrigerant leak(s), the refrigerant will just leak back out. At this point R22 Freon is the worst when it comes to cost, but R410a requires leak repairs as well. The old way of recharging systems every year is hard on the wallet and this will likely only get harder for the foreseeable future.

High Pressure AC Sales Tactics

I touch base a little on this subject in the video embedded above in this blog post, for the simple reason the HVAC system in the video wasn’t that old but due to the R22 Freon problem, the best way forward was to replace the AC system and the home owner agreed even though I also offered to replace only the evaporator coil to fix the refrigerant leaks. These kinds of choices are always yours to make when you use my Katy, Texas AC repair services.

High Pressure AC sales come into play when a company uses the refrigerant leak problem (whatever refrigerant it is) to suggest that the whole HVAC system needs to be replaced. Like the AC and the furnace in the case of the video embedded above.

If the goal of the home owner is to go with the most energy efficient AC system they can buy, then in most cases the furnace would have to be replaced to obtain those high efficiency requirements, I say this so you understand that depending on the choices you make there may not be any other way forward if high efficiency air conditioning is your goal. This in turn raises the cost and if you’re planning to sell the home soon, it’s unlikely you will recoup the added cost of the high efficient HVAC system. Typically high efficiency HVAC systems are best suited to home owners who plan to live in their home for at least 15-20 years or longer. In some cases these high efficient HVAC systems are considered ‘lifetime HVAC systems’.

If the goal of the home owner is just to fix the AC, then depending on how long the home owner plans to own the home and where the problem with the AC system is can give you many more options when you are using a HVAC company (like mine) that is professionally skilled in those kinds of HVAC repairs.

My goal is to fix or repair your AC system and in many instances there is more than one way to accomplish this goal, obviously if one of these choices may waste your money I would think you would want to be informed of that before you select that option. Each choice I offer you is a matter of preference based on how long you plan to own the home among other considerations. If you call me to come to your home to fix your AC problems I will give you options best suited to fix your air conditioning system, given your current situation or comfort goals you are trying to achieve in your home. There is rarely a home comfort solution that fits everyone. It is my opinion that the decision is yours to make once all the facts are laid out to you.

A new HVAC system can break down just as much as an old one can. Regardless of brand. Professional installation of the HVAC equipment is by far the most important part of the decision which is why I personally install all HVAC equipment I sell, this will drastically cut your risk of breakdown more than anything else.

While it’s typically more common for an older system to break down, there are a number of HVAC systems (any brand) I see in the summer that are only a few years old and broken. Over 99% of these are HVAC systems I did not install. My trouble rate on AC equipment I’ve installed is less than 2%. That means less than 2 pieces out of 100 in any one given year. HVAC industry as whole typically accepts 25% failure rate as being ‘normal’. My experience is telling me many people are being duped.

With that said, no matter if you replace one part of your HVAC system or the whole thing, in my climate of Katy, Texas you will always need a good knowledgeable HVAC repair man. Maybe it’s me?

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this blog:

My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a Ray Austin HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with 23 years ‘hands on’ experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems as of 2018. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R Mechanic, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs. I specialize in Residential HVAC systems.

About Austin Air Companie:

Happy Birthday! Turning 10 years old in 2018. Has it really been this long?

Austin Air Companie

832.475.6895

“Your home comfort from A to Z”

Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

 

Better Service. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

Air Conditioning Freon Leaks

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Air Conditioning Freon Leaks
(video included below “My AC Evaporator Is Leaking Freon? WHERE?”)

Freon in this case more or less means refrigerant, because you could in fact have a system that uses R410a that is also known as Puron. Puron is a trademark name commonly used to describe this new air conditioning refrigerant.

R22 Freon and R410a Puron are the only two EPA & Manufacturer approved refrigerants for use in a High Temp air conditioning application like residential air conditioning or commercial air conditioning. Notice I said High Temp… This application design temperature is to maintain temperature of a structure between 70 to 80 degrees. There are other applications and many different refrigerants. So you need to realize before reading any further this subject is on High Temperature Central Air Conditioning application ONLY.

When a home air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it will perform inadequately not putting out enough cooling in all areas of the structure. However, a low refrigerant suspicion doesn’t mean something else could be at play with your system. Guessing will not fix your air conditioning system. I’m not paid to guess just as much as I am not paid to “play around” with your system. I can only get to the root of your problem by diagnosing it and that requires a visit to your home in person. This is what I do for a living.

Many people to this day, believe their air conditioning system uses refrigerant and this liquid needs to be replaced or refilled at some point. Wrong. The only time you need refrigerant is when you have developed a leak or the refrigerant circuit needs repair. However, if you simply refill the system and there is a refrigerant leak then it will leak back out again a short time later depending of course how large or bad the leak is.

Refrigerant leaks can be caused by:
Formicary Corrosion
Defective part in refrigerant circuit
Poor servicing methods
unit vibration
improper or neglected maintenance
equipment age (worn out)
poor equipment design or installation
Dog urine
Freezing of the Evaporator Coil

Refrigerants CAN NOT be:
Mixed
Installed in wrong equipment
USED

Doing such things listed above will void ANY manufacturer warranty, not to mention add serious costs to repair up to and including the replacement of your AC System.

When you look at your AC equipment you don’t see anything leaking from it, so it must be OK? Condensation or moisture isn’t refrigerant. Water leaks are an entirely different subject.

Just because you don’t see anything when looking at your AC system doesn’t mean much…. Refrigerants turn to vapor under our atmosphere many times you will not be able to visually see the leak without the help of a refrigerant detector.
(Watch the embedded video below for better understanding.)

Trying to guess where a refrigerant leak is without testing for it is NOT RECOMMENDED under any circumstance, UNLESS you are replacing the whole Air Conditioning System or you enjoy the possibility of wasting money.

National average life of an Air Conditioning System is 15 Years. If yours didn’t last that long you may want to consider making a change some where.

I hope this information saves you from making a costly mistake.
Have a GREAT Summer! Thank you for visiting.

About the Author of this 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 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 you can always visit me on my main website @
www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.