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Old 05-30-2013, 03:48 PM  
AustinChief AustinChief is online now
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Any HVAC experts want to weigh in on something...

My parents in DFW have an old system that it appears the evap/coils on the air handler are shot. It's an R22 system and they are trying to see if it is worth upgrading to r410 now. My question is... could they replace the evap/coils on the air handler and then also just replace the condenser on the heat pump and get away with a cheapish conversion to r410 or will they need to run new lines and replace the whole air handler and heat pump.

The other option is to just replace the evap/coils and stay R22 but that seems like a pretty big expense to not just go ahead and upgrade things.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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I'd be real surprised if there was a way to cost effectively convert a condensing unit to 410.

If the current heat pump is less than 5 years old I'd probably lean towards just replacing the evap. If it's an older unit they may as well go ahead and bite the bullet for a 410 system.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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I think the lines and coils also have to be replaced.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMoChief View Post
I think the lines and coils also have to be replaced.
I know the coils need to be replaced, they are the problem. It's just a question of replacing them and staying R22 or replacing the evap/coils AND replacing the heat pump's condenser to go R410 ... if that is even possible... or replacing the whole system inside and out.

One of the biggest issues is the placement of the air handler.. I honestly have no clue how they got it installed in the first place. It is huge and the the access is not.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:49 PM   #6
ChiefaRoo ChiefaRoo is offline
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I'm not a specialist but I can tell you that almost every Engineering Organization I ever met who designed "White Goods" like A.C., Water Heater, Washer, Dryer etc. got input from their Sales/Marketing people and they usually make sure to keep older technology incompatible with newer tech unless of course they have an in house customer service unit where they will do less work for more margin thus creating a larger income stream for themselves. I'm guessing you have built in incompatibility.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
I know the coils need to be replaced, they are the problem. It's just a question of replacing them and staying R22 or replacing the evap/coils AND replacing the heat pump's condenser to go R410 ... if that is even possible... or replacing the whole system inside and out.

One of the biggest issues is the placement of the air handler.. I honestly have no clue how they got it installed in the first place. It is huge and the the access is not.
I just went through a similar situation. Apparently R410 runs at a significantly higher pressure than R22, and that makes it an all or nothing conversion.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefaRoo View Post
I'm not a specialist but I can tell you that almost every Engineering Organization I ever met who designed "White Goods" like A.C., Water Heater, Washer, Dryer etc. got input from their Sales/Marketing people and they usually make sure to keep older technology incompatible with newer tech unless of course they have an in house customer service unit where they will do less work for more margin thus creating a larger income stream for themselves. I'm guessing you have built in incompatibility.
So yeah, this.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brorth View Post
I just went through a similar situation. Apparently R410 runs at a significantly higher pressure than R22, and that makes it an all or nothing conversion.
Yeah I can see this point... but I'm just thinking that the R22/R410 closed "system" is basically [evap/coils - lines - condenser]. I just can't see how the blower motor or electric heater element or any other parts of the air handler or heat pump would make a difference. Which is why my thought is that replacing the condenser and evap/coils would be all that was needed unless there is some crazy difference in the line sizes.

I finally remembered I have a buddy who does this for a living in Austin who I have sent a message to. Hopefully he can set me straight. I have a sneaking feeling the costs will be about the same no matter on this.

Interesting guy who has been doing this for years after retiring from profession bull riding. He even came back for a while and tried the "senior" circuit.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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Are we talking about a self-contained unit or a split system?
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugeater View Post
Are we talking about a self-contained unit or a split system?
Split system. Air handler inside with evap/coils and then I'd guess about 25 ft of line (3/8 and 7/8 does that sound right?) running outside to heat pump.

Inside coils have the leak.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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Replace the whole thing, a lot of money upfront but it will save you money in the long run.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:31 PM   #13
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Split system. Air handler inside with evap/coils and then I'd guess about 25 ft of line (3/8 and 7/8 does that sound right?) running outside to heat pump.

Inside coils have the leak.
Ok, then it must be a heat pump with an electric backup furnace? You had me confused when you started talking about heating coils and blower motor. That's all part of the furnace and the heat pump system should be able to be replaced without touching that. The evap should be mounted in a plenum right above the furnace, it's not part of it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugeater View Post
Ok, then it must be a heat pump with an electric backup furnace? You had me confused when you started talking about heating coils and blower motor. That's all part of the furnace and the heat pump system should be able to be replaced without touching that. The evap should be mounted in a plenum right above the furnace, it's not part of it.
Yep, I was referring to the backup electric heater I just assumed it's all part of the same air handler, I was probably wrong on that. I made that assumption because the damn air handler is MASSIVE, it's like the size of a refrigerator on its side.

It's something like this (but not exactly) http://www.goodmanmfg.com/Residentia...8/Default.aspx

My concern is the vast amount of labor required to replace the entire unit(I don't even see how it was put in in the first place) as compared to the POSSIBILITY of replacing just some of the guts (evap/coils). Of course, it may just be cheaper to buy the whole unit, I have no clue.
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