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Question DetailsAsked on 1/7/2016

when replacing an A/C air handler do I need to replace the compressor unit in Florida?

supposedly my air handler is leaking Freon and the a/c company says I have to replace the entire A/C system, is that correct? and why?

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2 Answers


Florida "code"requires a matched system,so they are correct.However you could replace the leaking coil in the air handler,but the cost can be over half the cost of a new system,not worth it.A newcoilwill have a one year warranty,new sytem willhave a 10 year warranty on all parts.


Answered 4 years ago by BayAreaAC


There are a lot of prior questions with answers on the Freon unit replacement and Freon being discontinued issue, as well as other HVAC issues and some thoughts on typical costs, in the Home > HVAC link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

As BayAreaAC says, if a Freon unit (R-22 gas) as opposed to newer gas (probably R-410a), then replacing the entire unit and getting a new whole-system warranty can sometimes be a good idea, especially if your existing unit is about 10 years old or older so getting along in years.

If an evaporator coil matching your existing one is available still, it would not hurt to get the job quoted both ways - replace evaporator coil and recharge system only, or replace system in entirety.

Your tech should be able to tell you the efficiency rating on the existing unit - at least approximately. If you divide that by the efficiency (SEER) rating of the unit you are looking at replacing it with, that will give you approximately the percentage of your current A/C electric cost the new unit will take. For instance, a 10 year old unit might be about SEER 10 at best - whereas a new unit has to be minimum SEER14 in FLorida, so it would be expected to use 10/14 = 71% as much power for the same amount of cooling, or about a 30% electricity savings - maybe from $250-1000/year depending on where in Florida you live, and of course assuming normal house size. So - if a new unit costs say $3-4,000 compared to maybe $2000 (or more) for an evaporator replacement, that differential of $2000 capital cost might pay off in electric bill savings in 2-8 years depending on how much power cost you have now. Crank it up to a SEER20 unit (about highest efficiency you can buy) and you might save 50% of the electric cost - but at $5-10,000 higher cost, so going above SEER 14-15 rarely pays off in residences unless in an extremely humid area where 24 hour A/C is needed (or for health reasons), or in very consistently hot areas like the desert southwest or far southern Florida.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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