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Question DetailsAsked on 9/2/2017

I have an old R22 unit that has a bad compressor. HVAC tech said I need a new unit for $6K. Any options?

This is a forced air unit that probably was installed in 1984 when the unit was built (but not sure). It blows but doesn't cool - compressor is shot. Tech said the coolant is being phased out in California and is very expensive. From what I understand I need a) new compressor and b) coolant refill. Also wondering if I find a replacement compressor do I take just it to get the coolant refilled?

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LOTS of previous similar questions about repair versus replace and R-22 (being phased out everywhere in about 5 years but there are replacement gases available, and anywhere from about $40-50 on up to $200/lb depending on how much the contractor is trying to milk the uncertainly about R-22 - and you likely need 7-15 pounds depending on unit size) versus new unit can be found in the Home > HVC link under Browse Projects, at lower left.

If it is that old, or anything over about 15 years old, you are probably better off getting a new R-410a unit because you are commonly looking at $2000-3000 to replace the compressor and gas - and then another $1500-2000 commonly for evaporator coil repalcement in a few years unlessit is quite new, so generally anew unit would be best - plus you get a new warranty (at least on parts) for typically 5 or more years, and greater operating efficiency to boot.

$6000 is in the rangefor a new unit, especially if large (4 tons or more), but there is nothing that says you have to buy it from that guy - I would get another couple of bidsfrom Heating and A/C contractors (your Search the List category to findwell-rated and reviewed contractors for this) on a new system for comparison. Because you said "when the unit was built" that implies to me apartment or condo, so more likely a 2-3 ton unit unless out in the desert in CA - so you might be looking at $3000-7000 normal replacement cost depending on unit size, efficiency rating, and whether it is just an A/C or a heat pump (which does both cooling and heating so is more expensive).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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