The Phase Out of R-22
R-22 Refrigerant has been around for years and was used in residential & commercial air conditioning.
As of Jan 1, 2010 the EPA began the phase out of R-22 and now R-410a is the 'standard'.
Originally, Jan, 2010 was the beginning with Jan 1, 2020 being the last date R-22 can be manufactured.
Because of the antics pulled by some of the manufacturers, the EPA has sped up the phase out of R-22,
thus causing the spikes in prices. The manufacturers didn't learn anything and are still pulling the same
The price for R-22 has increased dramatically. Some shops were charging $90 - $125 per pound during the 'peak'. Since it has come down some but is still much higher than prior to the phase out.
Very shortly prices are going to skyrocket again as we near the complete phase out.
If you have a leaking unit, merely 'charging it up' as many have done in the past will be expensive.
Your unit will continue to leak until it is repaired or the unit is replaced if it is not repairable.
'Leak stop' that is sold by some shops does not last if it works at all. Don't be fooled into spending your money.
Air conditioners hold a varying amount of refrigerant. A typical 'split system', (meaning 2 pieces with an air handler or furnace inside with a condenser sitting outside somewhere), will hold from 4-5lbs for a small system to 15-25lbs for a larger split system. (Small = 2-3 tons Large = 3.5 - 5 tons).
A 'Package Unit' will hold from 3 - 12 lbs in most cases.
A ton of cooling is 12,000 btu's. (British Thermal Units).
One ton onf cooling will take care of 400 sq ft.
1000 sq ft - 2.5 ton
1200 sq ft - 3 ton
1400 sq ft - 3.5 ton
1600 - 4 ton
2000 - 5 ton.
Here in Arizona, it is wise to size your equipment a 1/2 ton larger to accomodate the high temperature days when we are above 100 deg F.
A good way for you to check the performance of your unit is to measure the 'split'. Take a thermometer and place it in the grill in front of the filter and read the 'return air' temperature. Then move it over to a 'supply register' and read the temperature there. The minimum difference should be 15 deg F.
Return Air Temp - 80
Supply Air Temp - 65
Split - 15 degrees
During the drier months of the year your split can get up to 20 - 23 degrees.
When the humidity comes up during the monsoons it will come down to 15 - 18 degrees.
Remember to change your filters every time you pay your electric bill if not more often.
Always use thin filters that breathe better than the heavy pleated filters and so called 'lifetime filters'.
Spray furniture polish on each side prior to replacing. This will help catch the light dust better.
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