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Question DetailsAsked on 6/12/2017

Approximately how much is a conversion kit for a home a/c unit?

It is a Trane

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1 Answer


Conversion for what - some A/C's can be converted to a different refrigerant - say from R-22 Freon, though normally the conversion will cost as much as a complete R-22 refill - probably $500-1000 installed, which is enough that for an older unit it should make you think whether it is worth sinking that much into an older system.

The system generally (not always) has to be flushed out first because commonly the refrigerants and the lubricating oil contained in it are not compatible. Also, unless you have an adjustable TXV (the gas control valve which regulates operating pressure) you will generally need a different rated TXV valve which is designed for the new gas operating pressure installed. This all assumes the compressor and coils can handle the required operating pressures of the new gas - there are a few near-match (so-called "drop-in" replacement gases) replacement refrigerants out there, but not many - and a LOT of them are a scam, putting in illegal or highly flammable gases in place of the R-22.

R-438A and R-422D are two replacement gases being used in R-22 systems - the second is supposed to be a "drop-in" replacement for many systems (check with manufacturer), but the operating thermal efficiency is something on the order of 10% less - meaning your system will have to run longer each cycle to give comparable cooling, resulting of course in more wear and tear on the compressor - but may be a short-term shopgap solution, and is cheaper than R-22 (wholesale) by a factor of 2 or 3 - currently roughly $12-15/pound in contractor 25# containers.

Also, with the R-22 replacements, in addition to the issue of many of them being highly flammable so any leak becomes a risk, generally they are less efficient in an existing R-22 system, so while you may be able to make you system keep operating for a few more years, the extra electricity cost or inability of the system to keep up with the cooling load in some cases, can make it a dubious decision unless you and your HVAC contractor get into the economics and efficiency and operating cost numbers in some depth - something that most residential (as opposed to commercial) HVAC contractors do not want to go to the trouble of even if they know how.

Generally speaking, if your system is over about 10 years old and you are trying to eke a few more years out of it, I suspect just staying with R-22 will be most economic. Technically R-22 production and imports are supposed to phase out on January 1, 2020 - but that is one of the regulations which may well go away as a result of Trump's rejection of the Paris Accords on global warming.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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