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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default To replace or not with minimum 13 seer

    I was under the understanding that as of Jan 2006 that if you replaced 50% of a heating and cooling system as in the exterior AC condenser or HVAC unit(the entire unit, not just a component) you had to upgrade the entire system.

    Does anyone have the info handy about this matter. I know they are still manufacturing and selling just the AC condensers because they are still being sold new and being installed. I was also of the understanding that if a certain percentage of a home is remodelled the entire system needed to be upgraded to a min 13 seer. Also other than charging the old systems I thought they could no longer make the freon systems.

    Thanks

    Ted

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  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: To replace or not with minimum 13 seer

    Ted, I can't give you documentation, but here is the rules as I understand them.
    They can no longer make anything less than a 13 SEER unit.
    There is no way to be assured of getting the rating without changing the indoor coil to a matched set at the time the exterior unit is replaced.
    Is it possible to change one without the other? Yes, BUT the manufacturer will not stand behind the set-up... MAYBE effecting the warranty.
    The type of refrigerant is not an issue in this law, just the energy rating. The refrigerant is a different law that has been on the books longer.
    Basically, R-12 systems are no longer made eventhough some recycled refrigerant is still around.
    R-22 will soon go the way of R-12 but some systems are still being made.

    Here is a little blurb I have on my website that I stole from somewhere.

    The Clean Air Act does not allow any refrigerant to be vented into the atmosphere during installation, service, or retirement of equipment. Therefore, R-22 must be recovered and recycled (for reuse in the same system), reclaimed (reprocessed to the same purity levels as new R-22), or destroyed. After 2020, the servicing of R-22-based systems will rely on recycled refrigerants. It is expected that reclamation and recycling will ensure that existing supplies of R-22 will last longer and be available to service a greater number of systems. As noted above, chemical manufacturers will be able to produce R-22 for use in new A/C equipment until 2010, and they can continue production of R-22 until 2020 for use in servicing that equipment. Given this schedule, the transition away from R-22 to the use of ozone-friendly refrigerants should be smooth.
    For the next 20 years or more, R-22 should continue to be available for all systems that require R-22 for servicing.
    This is my blurb on the 13 SEER law:

    High Efficiency Air Conditioning (13 SEER)
    The Federal Government mandate of high efficiency cooling units has caused some concern in the housing industry. In the simplest terms, the new requirement went into effect in 2006 to require manufacturers to discontinue making new units with less than a "13 SEER" Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ration. This is similar to a fuel mileage rating for new cars. The bottom line is the newer units cost more to make but are more energy efficient. With warm climates like Texas, the difference in purchase price will be recovered by lower energy use in a short time.
    The change will not effect existing homes or systems except when it is time to replace old equipment. If there are no more parts or partial systems to replace existing equipment, then a more costly upgrade to the higher efficiency equipment will be required. Home warranty companies have been scrambling to adjust their policies to address the change in the law.



    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: To replace or not with minimum 13 seer

    I appreciate that Jim. Everything you noted was my exact thinking. I recently bailed a client out that a warranty HVAC man was going to charge 855.00 for a repair. I called an AC guy and he repaired the unit for 165.00 Needless to say I now have a forever client and referrals. The AC guy I called had a brand spanking new R12 unit in his truck. The date on the tag was from the beginning of this year. He said they are still manufacturing them and you can still install them and not upgrade the system to the new 13 seer. When I asked him about remodeling and the percentage of the home that was remodelled he said he installs complete R12 systems.

    Don't know. I guess I will have to dig deeper. I have been telling all my clients that if you cannot replace particular components and had to replace the whole unit then it had to be upgraded to a 13 seer, as your notes and my memory serve me.

    Thanks Jim

    Ted


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Memphis TN.
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    Default Re: To replace or not with minimum 13 seer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    --I have been telling all my clients that if you cannot replace particular components and had to replace the whole unit then it had to be upgraded to a 13 seer,

    Ted
    .

    Q5: on link says DOE suggest replacement but not mandatory.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: To replace or not with minimum 13 seer

    Correction about stating r12 when I meant r22. OOPs


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