“There are other options for R-22 refrigerant — Why not use those options instead of paying the high price for R-22?”
Yes, there are, what is called, “drop-ins” available. Now, the manufacturers in residential have not approved these drop-ins for their systems. You cannot duplicate R-22. If you have a drop-in that acts very similar to it, it is not going to act just like it because it is not R-22 refrigerant.
When you use a drop-in you have to measure temperature, there are a whole bunch of variables that really it gets to be a problem because, you have to “guesstimate” as to what the temperatures are or how much you might need. The readings aren’t the same, it is not made to be the same, it is not going to be the same. I would use the original R-22 and at that point I would replace the system with an R-410a refrigerant system it if it starts to become too costly.
When you use a drop-ins it can also become costly, you are having service call after service call because whoever is dropping in this refrigerant is never going to get it correct 100% of the time. It is not the same chemical makeup. The manufacturer made that unit to work on R-22 refrigerant, they didn’t make it to work on the drop-in refrigerant for R-22 and it didn’t make it to work on R-410A refrigerant. You cannot put a foreign refrigerant into that system and expect it to act the same.
We talk about your body and the blood a lot because it is a good reference. You cannot put ketchup into your body just because it is the same color as your blood, your system (you) will not operate the same. It is kind of ridiculous but think about drop-in refrigerants. There are drop-ins for R-22 but never think they are going to be the solution to your problem. Drop-ins can cause more problems and can be more expensive over time because you are having to back and check that over and over again. The system is not going to perform the same with a drop-in refrigerant.
Your friend in comfort and energy savings,
Derek Cole is the General Manager of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®, an independently owned and operated franchise based in Laurinburg, North Carolina since 1953. He has more than 15 years of experience in the HVAC industry and has created two You Tube broadcasts, The Comfort Experts and #AskDerekCole, filled with tips and tricks on saving energy and being comfortable. He was named the Top 40 under 40 in the HVAC industry by the News magazine and featured in Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise Player Spotlight. Derek has also been seen on CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Business sharing about One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® and home comfort tips.