This Brick Twin home in West Torresdale had a central heating and air conditioning system that was over 20 years old.

Older systems like this one tend to develop problems over time, including cracked heat exchangers in the furnace, and leaks in the coolant system for the air conditioners.

In the past, you could just recharge an old system with new Freon, but that old Freon/R-22 coolant is no longer being manufactured, because of its harmful effect on the environment.  Since it has been phased out, it becomes difficult if not close to impossible to repair some older systems, because you simply can’t get the coolant – and if you can, it is almost prohibitively expensive.

When the homeowners called us out to take a look at their old system, we found that they had a coil leak that was leaking Freon. A repair simply wasn’t practical, especially on a system of this age. So we needed to talk to our homeowners about the options they had in front of them.

Problem: Homeowners in the West Torresdale Twin had their air conditioning go out. On inspection, the outdoor coil was leaking. The system was over 20 years old and was still using R-22 refrigerant, which is no longer being manufactured.

Solution: Replace the old system with a new Carrier Performance series gas-fired furnace that increased efficiency to 96.5% and a Carrier Comfort Series central air conditioning that upgraded the air conditioning to a 14 SEER system, delivering more efficiency leading to lower energy bills year-round.

How to Make the Best Decision If you need to Replace Your HVAC System

It was clear that the homeowners would need a new air conditioning system. But, with central heat and air, the heating and air conditioning systems are interdependent. In order to get the appropriate blower to distribute the cool air around your home, you often have to upgrade the furnace at the same time, as the older blower will never be adequate to give you the cooling you want and need.  In addition, we often find when we open up these systems, critical parts of the furnace are showing signs of wear and approaching failure, that you just don’t notice it as a homeowner, other than in slightly higher energy bills compared to the last season. As a result, it often becomes necessary to replace the furnace and air conditioning at the same time, especially when the system is 15 years old or more, since most furnaces have a life expectancy around 20 years, slightly more if you’re lucky.

This ends up being a tricky decision for many homeowners that we see often here at Custom Aire.  Do you replace a whole system and expect 20 years or more from the components together, or do you replace one, and anticipate another big bill for replacement of the other half in a few years? Will you end up losing the money you could save in energy costs by upgrading efficiency now, compared to paying more for labor in the future?

Gaining More Efficiency and Saving Money with Carrier

After looking at all the options and the age of the system, our homeowners opted to choose to replace both parts of the system at once. They chose the Carrier Performance series condensing furnace, upgrading from 80% with their old system to 96.5% efficiency with the new, guaranteeing lower heating bills from efficiency upgrades alone! Because of this, the homeowners also qualified for a $500 rebate from PGW for increasing the efficiency of their equipment, making the upgrade more affordable.

For the air conditioning, the old system was a 10 SEER system. Current efficiency standards for air conditioning have changed drastically, now requiring a minimum efficiency for new home systems of 13 SEER, delivering more cool air with less energy drain. The homeowners chose a great model from the Carrier Comfort series that would deliver 14 SEER, a great increase in their comfort while reducing their energy bills by increased efficiency at the same time.

The homeowners ended up with a great system that will give them increased efficiency in heating and cooling with Carrier’s reputation for durability and craftsmanship. The air conditioning systems come with a ten year warranty, giving our homeowners peace of mind with their new system for years to come.