Row homes like this one in Medina Park often have older heating and air conditioning systems using “Freon”- also known as R-22 refrigerant. Because of the harm Freon is known to do to the environment, it is being phased out, and it’s no longer being manufactured. As a result, the amount of Freon available on the market to help recharge older systems is limited and it’s really expensive. If we fix a system with a Freon leak or needing a recharge today, there’s no guarantee we will be able to do it again in 6 months or a year.

When the owner of this home gave us a call about their air conditioning, we found that their compressor was shot. This meant having a long conversation with the homeowner about what it would cost to both replace the compressor, recharge the system with Freon, and still be at risk for replacing the whole system in the future, versus replacing the system with a R410-A or “Puron” refrigerant system.

You might ask yourself why can’t you simply convert an older refrigerant system to a new one, and that’s a good question. The problem is that the newer refrigerants are required to be under higher pressure, so they would cause massive problems if you tried to retrofit older equipment to deal with a higher pressure- and more efficient -coolant.  If you couple this with the fact that repairs tend to increase on systems during their last two years of lifespan, homeowners like this one are looking at repairs that nay likely be followed by additional repairs to other parts of the system, making it a good time to consider replacement, rather than repair.

As we talked about the newer class of systems, I let the homeowner know about the increased efficiency you can get with newer furnace and air conditioning systems. Our homeowner here chose a two stage variable system with a 16 SEER air conditioning system to replace the old one. The 16 SEER air conditioning meets new standards for efficiency, meaning the new system will cool more air using less energy.

Likewise, the new furnace operates at variable speeds, using only the amount of energy it needs and then shutting off, kind of like the cruise control on your car.  Like a cruise control, a variable speed system will only use the energy it needs to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature inside, reducing the highs and lows of old single stage systems that were either on or off. So unlike an old single stage system that jars the house when it clunks on or off, a variable speed system runs at a more constant level and runs much quieter as well, making sure you spend less time noticing your HVAC system, and more time enjoying the comfort it brings to your home.

At Comfort Aire, we realize that HVAC repairs and replacements are some of the biggest investments you make in your home.  That’s why we always do our best to give you the best advice and guidance possible, to help you make the best decision for your home and your pocketbook. It’s hard sometimes to help people understand things like the change in coolants and try to help people decide between a repair versus a replace. At Custom Aire, we try to give you all the facts and treat you like family, so you can make the best decision possible for your family, and for your comfort, while always keeping your budget in mind.