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my central AC is a 16-year old Trane. According to inspector, the compressor is still good and all the conditions seem to be good, except the coil is leaking. It is an old model so it uses R22. As it is so expensive to replace a new AC unit, especially it will use a crane in my case, I am thinking about having someone to replace the coil, evacuate all the freon and then re-fill it. Hope that will keep this unit work for another 5-7 years before a replacement. Is that a good idea? Is it a difficult job to replace the coil? Do HVAC contractors normally provide that type of services? Any suggestions or advice are very much appreciated! Thank you!

Carrie

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  • It it a split system, is your compressor outdoors with your air handler indoors? – JACK Aug 17 '20 at 16:39
  • It is a one piece package, outdoor on the rooftop. – Carrie Aug 17 '20 at 17:00
  • I did not catch that it was a package unit the coil may be a bit higher I just found a generic coil referenced in my answer. some package units have custom OEM coils and they cost more. But recovery of the refrigerant and pump down time will be shorter because of almost no line set between the condescending unit and evaporator. – Ed Beal Aug 17 '20 at 19:14
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Ok if you know 100% it is the coil that is an easy repair. The refrigerant first needs to be recovered the old coil cut out and the new one installed. Coil cost 2 ton R22 ~300$ Plus recovery time and pumping the system down once the new coil is installed. Measure the amount of R22 returned to the system and add the difference for your ~4 lb total . The repair cost would be 1 days work the coil and a couple lbs of r22. Dang the 8k and 10k prices sound crazy to me it is only a 1 day job ok possibly a day and a half if access to the air handler is not so good. But I know R22 is going for 100 per pound 2 lbs plus a coil 500$ in materials ok a a little for the silver solder and flux but other than that the tech time maybe 100 /hr or so it depends, you might get a guy that needs the extra day of work and gives you a onetime good deal. But those are ball park numbers you could work with so you have an idea.

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It's hard to say but at 16 years old I'd opt to replace the entire unit. My guess is that IF you can find someone to replace the leaking parts, the bill is going to approach the total replacement cost.

But you could contact a couple of local HVAC contractors and get estimates for both options.

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  • It will probably cost more than $10K to replace the unit in this case. But, I agree that I probably should check with the contractors and see the estimates for coil replacement first. Thanks. – Carrie Aug 17 '20 at 16:17
  • @Carrie consider that if it costs "only" $8000 to replace the coil (with all the work necessary to convert from R22 to R143), you've got a 16-year-old AC unit that you just spent 8 grand on. All the other parts are still 16 years old and will likely start failing sooner rather than later. It may be time to bite the bullet... – FreeMan Aug 17 '20 at 16:39
  • Newer units are also more energy efficient. – Gunner Aug 17 '20 at 18:05
  • @gunner newer units may be more efficient. I installed a 19 seer mini split 2 weeks ago there are 24+ seer units out there but you pay more for the higher efficiency, in this case the increased cost did not pencil out so the less efficient unit was purchased same brand same btu. In some cases there may not be much of a difference. – Ed Beal Aug 17 '20 at 19:26

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