Dollars and Sense

Some may be interested to know that one of the larger companies in Tampa (Air R_), is giving away a brand new MUSTANG for their top $$ seller, in addition to their monthly sales commissions.
Is their any doubt you will need a new system, if you have them out for service?
Word is they are also replacing their entire fleet with brand new vehicles.
Guess who pays for that?

R22 refrigerant is becoming expensive

"R22 refrigerant is becoming expensive if not scarce, both of which were planned to drive it from the industry. Unfortunately, the industry has not done well at replacing it.

Although there are a multitude of so called replacements, there are issues with most, if not all on the market today.

First, let’s clear up something. There are none designed to “top off” an R22 system, meaning to add a few pounds to cover what was lost through leakage. Yes it is being done, but at what cost? Compressors failing for lack of oil return? System leaks increasing? Reversing valve issues?

All replacement refrigerants that we have looked at to date, require removing what R22 is left in the system, before recharging with the replacement refrigerant. Some manufactures, recommend replacing the oil with a newer synthetic blend and some, the valve cores and filter driers.

Second, all will have an effect on the operation of the system, from reduced capacity, increased run times, lack of oil return to the compressor, etc.

Imagine what we as the service company will have to face, as we try to figure out what is going on with your system and not only what was added to it, but how  it was done. In these trying cases, we may have no choice but to remove what is in the system and start over.

The best solution at this point, is to replace equipment that is older than ten years and facing issues with leaking coils or other costly repairs such as compressors. Even that has issues.

The current most popular refrigerant, R410a, is a temporary refrigerant and there is already talk of it being phased out in favor of more natural refrigerants like carbon dioxide, currently being used by Coca Cola in some of their vending machines.

Here we go again with the issues of un-matched equipment and resulting expenses."

R22 PHASEOUT DEADLINE approaching fast!

For years the production of the chlorine based refrigerant "R22" has been in an agreed upon decline, with the total phase out scheduled for the year 2020.

Folks, that is less than four years away! If you haven't replaced your aging R22 system by now, please consider doing so before the mad rush.

There are and will be alternative refrigerants that can be used, but these come at a cost. They are less efficient which means longer run times & higher electric bills. For those already on the edge of having enough BTU's to meet the load demands, it can mean higher indoor temperatures.

Waiting will cost more as demand stretches the available supply of resources to upgrade customers equipment and the supply of R22 dwindles down to zero.  

2014 Code Updates:

Some of the changes to the “Florida Building Code” listed below that went into effect March 15th, 2012 have already been modified or completely done away with. Some of the latest changes made affecting Hillsborough County, are noted in red type. If you have any doubts or questions, contact your local building department.

According to the 2012 code, a “Manual J” load calculation must be done for the replacement of air conditioning and or heating equipment. This had applied even if the replacement system was the same size (tonnage) as the original equipment. It also applied even though most homes built in the last twenty-five years, have had an “Energy Gauge” report and a “Manual J” load calculation completed and paid for when the home was built. It is our current understanding that it does not apply to replacement systems of the same tonnage.

Attic insulation levels will affect the load calculation. A low level can cause the load calculation to indicate a higher BTU replacement system than necessary. We suggest calling TECO now and having your insulation inspected to save energy and avoid any delays in the permitting process.TECO’s program subsidizes the cost of bringing your attic insulation up to standard levels. Currently they are paying up to $350.

Contractors were required to certify that the air duct system had been inspected and sealed before the final inspection was passed. The sealing, can be done by anyone including those on the TECO approved contractors list as long as it meets code. We suggest calling TECO and having the ducts sealed now to save energy and avoid any delays in the permitting process. TECO subsidizes the cost of sealing the duct system. It is our current understanding that it does not apply to replacement systems.

Locking caps must be installed on all accessible service ports or valves.

Duct systems that have to be replaced, will now need to have an R8 rating.

A service light with a receptacle and a pull chain must be available for systems installed in attics.

Since we never know when a system might have to be replaced, it would be wise to attend to these items now to avoid any future delays.

We will try to post changes as we learn about them. 

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