What’s an Air Conditioning Dry Charge?

Over the past decade, both the U.S. and Canadian governments have instructed that all makers of air conditioning equipment stop production of the refrigerant R-22 (Freon) or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These refrigerants have been commonly used in air conditioners and heat pumps for many decades. The R-22 and HCFC mandates are intended to have the HVAC industry shift to a more environmentally friendly refrigerant with a technical code R410A. R410A has been verified to be safer for the environment.

In late 2010 reputable air conditioning firms began manufacturing Air Conditioning and Heat Pump units, without adding refrigerant at the factory. These units are more commonly called “dry charged units”. These A/C units can legally be sold and installed which permits your the U.S. area HVAC contractor to charge the unit on-site with R22. R22 is still legal for AC repair or service a while longer. The reason for these Dry Charged Units is to give the greater the U.S. area a more simple and affordable replacement option for central air conditioners and heat pumps. However, these units also bypass the spirit of the mandates, which was to help the environment by introducing more environment friendly solutions.

the U.S. homeowners should understand that these Dry Charged Units are allowed in the U.S. and Canada. Because of some key ambiguities in the written policies, the entire outdoor unit is technically deemed a replacement “part”. These days, condensers or heat pumps intended for use in a replacement R-22 system are often referred to as “Dry Charge” or “Nitrogen Charged” systems. The following are some Frequently Asked Questions about this recent A/C Dry Charge trend.

Does it make sense to buy a Dry Charge Air Conditioning Unit?

It depends on a number of things. The best thing to do is learn what types of HVAC equipment the heating and air conditioning industry can offer and seek solutions that speaks to your personal comfort, efficiency and lifestyle needs. Take time to understand the benefits and difference between a dry charge unit and new air conditioning products with R-410A refrigerant.

Why would I buy a R-410A refrigerant system?

Current R-410A systems provide benefits to the U.S. homeowners that Dry Charge units do not. A few of the benefits include:

    • Increased energy efficiency for reduced cost of comfort
    • State-of-the-art technology to lessen humidity
    • Current production refrigerant solutions ensuring longer life and extended availability of refrigerant
    • Extended warranty periods for even greater peace of mind
    • Quieter operation for a more peaceful indoor environment
    • Earth friendly refrigerant that reduces the carbon imprint that negatively impacts our environment
    • Matched coil solutions for improved reliability and guaranteed cooling and heating performance

Are Dry Change Air Conditioning Unit legal to install?

Absolutely. There are no Federal laws or legal restriction on the installation of R-22 or Dry Charge Equipment, as long as it is as a repair for an existing system.

Does a warranty come with a Dry Charge Unit?

Major manufacturers have a standard 5-year parts warranty on dry charge units. While this affords industry standard protection on the components it does not provide protection against R-22 refrigerant prices, which are expected to increase significantly.

Is R-22 refrigerant going to get really expensive?

It is likely that as a result of supply and demand, R-22 refrigerant will become more expensive. As the phase out process of R22 continues, new R-22 refrigerant production will gradually be reduced, with full elimination of its production in 2020. Until that time however, indications are that there will likely be sufficient supply to meet the current demand.

If you have more questions about refrigerant, we encourage you to contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for clarification.

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