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Question DetailsAsked on 9/17/2017

I am moving a r22 compressor about 10 ft. For an addition. Can I use alternative gas or oil without having to chang

I am moving a r22 compressor to make room for an addition, I am hoping not to have to replace the unit but I have been told the freon is very expensive, are there altnatives oils or gas for a r22 compressor that will work with all components?

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2 Answers


You can find a lot of previous questions with answers about the repair/replace issue and the cost of R-22 (though other refrigerant prices being charged are rapidly catching up) - look in the Home HVAC link under Browse Projects, at lower left. Depending on the age of the unit (say if over 10-15 years old) it might make more sense to get a new, higher efficiency unit with new warranty - particularly if the evaporator coil is not pretty new, because you might move the old unit then find you need to sink another $1000-2000 into the unit for that in the near future.

Honeywell does make a "drop-in" replacement gas which uses the same lubricant as true Freon brand R-22 - though you probably do not know if true Freon is in it, or a knock-off gas which might have a different lubricant, and it is not a good idea to mix lubricants.

One thing you are overlooking is that the law requires that the gas be vacuum pumped out of the unit anyway before it is disassembled, not just vented to the air - and that can then be reinjected after the move, so you should only be paying for maybe a pound or so of make-up gas (because a bit is lost in the connection/disconnection of the recovery unit) - so should not be over about $50-100 for that makeup gas. Then you don't have issues with possible system contamination with putting in a different product.

One other thing - when the unit is taken apart may be the time when the move/replace decision is made - once the tech can show you the condition of the oil in the filter/drier and in the lines, because if it is all congealed or scorched (indicating the unit has compressor overheating issues) that would certainly weigh in favor of putting in a new unit instead at that time, with probably R-410a gas.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Point of clarification - when I said probably $50-100 makeup gas after the move, that is for the gas alone - lbor would already be a "sunk cost" included in the cost of moving the unit and recharging it.

On the relocate/replace issue - note that you are already probably paying about 1/2-2/3 the installation labor cost of a new unit for the move, so if your unit is getting old (I would say 10 years or even nearing that) since you have to pay a major chunk of the labor cost anyway for the move, makes for a prime time to get a new unit now if you see a possible need for that in the next few years anyway.

Also - you did not say how large the addition is, but might well be with the addition your existing unit will be overworked anyway, and might need a larger unit for the total cooling load. or if you were planning on installing a supplemental unit for the addition, if you added that new unit cost to the existing unit move cost that, if applied to a new single larger unit cost, would be even more in favor of a newer single unit rather than moving the existing one and putting it back into service. Something to think about.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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