What's an Air Conditioning Dry Charge?

April 01, 2015

Over the past several years, both the U.S. and Canadian governments have mandated that all manufacturers of air conditioning equipment stop production of the refrigerant R-22 (Freon) or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These refrigerants have been standardly used in air conditioners and heat pumps for a long time. These mandates are anticipated to have the HVAC industry move to a more earth friendly refrigerant with a technical code R410A. R410A has been proven to be safer for the environment.

In late 2010 most 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”. The units can legally be sold and installed then your local HVAC contractor (such as Falso Service Experts) can charge the unit with R22. R22 is still legal for AC repair or service for a short time longer. The purpose of these Dry Charged Units is to give the greater East Syracuse area a more simple and affordable replacement option for central air conditioners and heat pumps. However, these units also dodge the spirit of the mandates, which was intended to better protect our environment by moving the air conditioning industry to a more environmentally friendly refrigerant.

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

Do you recommend purchasing a Dry Charge Air Conditioning System?

It depends on a number of things. The number one thing to do is understand 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 offer benefits to East Syracuse homeowners that Dry Charge units do not. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased energy efficiency for comfort at a cost savings
  • State-of-the-art technology to reduce 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
  • Ozone friendly refrigerant that protects the environment
  • Matched coil solutions for increased reliability and guaranteed cooling and heating performance

Is it legal to install Dry Charge units?

Yes. There are no Federal laws or legal restriction on the installation of R-22 or Dry Charge Equipment, with the stipulation that it is repairing an existing air conditioning system.

Does a warranty come with a Dry Charge Unit?

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

How expensive will R-22 get in the next few years?

It is likely that as a result of supply and demand, the answer to this question is “yes – we do anticipate R-22 refrigerant to get pricey”. As the phase out process of R22 continues, new R-22 refrigerant production will slowly be reduced, with full elimination of its production in 2020. Until then, 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 Falso Service Experts for clarification.

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