What's an Air Conditioning Dry Charge?

April 01, 2015

Over the past decade, both the U.S. and Canadian governments have directed that all producers of air conditioning equipment stop production of the refrigerant R-22 (Freon) or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These refrigerants have been typically used in air conditioners and heat pumps for a long time. The recommended phase-out mandates are expected to have the HVAC industry move to a more green friendly refrigerant with a technical code R410A. R410A has been shown 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. Such systems are more commonly called “dry charged units”. These A/C units can legally be sold and installed then your local HVAC contractor (such as Winnipeg Supply Service Experts) can charge the unit with R22. R22 is still legal for AC repair or service for a few more years. The purpose of these Dry Charged Units is to offer the greater Winnipeg 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 to help the environment by introducing more environment friendly solutions.

Winnipeg homeowners should be aware that these Dry Charged Units are approved in the U.S. and Canada. Because of the lack of clarity regarding the definition of an outdoor unit in the rules, 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 usually referred to as “Dry Charge” or “Nitrogen Charged” systems. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about this recent A/C Dry Charge trend.

Do you recommend purchasing a Dry Charge Air Conditioning System?

Well, it really depends on a number of things. The best 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 Winnipeg homeowners that Dry Charge units do not. A few of the benefits include:

  • Greater energy efficiency for comfort at a cost savings
  • Leading technology to lessen humidity
  • Current production refrigerant solutions guaranteeing longer life and extended availability of refrigerant
  • Longer warranty periods for more peace of mind
  • Quieter operation for a more peaceful indoor environment
  • Earth friendly refrigerant that reduces the carbon imprint that negatively impacts our environment
  • Matched coil solutions for enhanced reliability and guaranteed cooling and heating performance

Are Dry Change Air Conditioning Unit legal to install?

Definitely. There are no Federal laws or legal restriction on the installation of R-22 or Dry Charge Equipment, however, it can only be used as a repair to an existing system.

Does a warranty come with a Dry Charge Unit?

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

Will the R-22 refrigerant be expensive to buy?

It is likely that as a result of supply and demand, the refrigerant will probably go up in price. 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 that date, 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 Winnipeg Supply Service Experts for clarification.

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