We are replacing our Trane TWE037 air handler with the TWE040 model because the 037’s coil is too small for our 3 ton XL19i heat pump. Our new contractor techs were back today to deal with the refrigerant issue. They first attempted to force the R22 into the heat pump so it could be held there as it was from the factory. They tried for about half an hour and finally concluded that the heat pump’s valves were going to leak no matter what they did. They said it’s possible that the valves were damaged when our original contractor connected the lines to the heat pump. They also said that sometimes the valves leak regardless of how well they were brazed.
So they will have to come back and recover the refrigerant later. They recommended using fresh R22 to charge the system rather than dealing with potential contamination of the original refrigerant by the reclaiming/recharging process. This sounds fine to us, but then we don’t know very much.
If we are going to replace our refrigerant, does it make sense to consider an R22 substitute such as Enviro-Safe 22a? We assume that if this product worked as well as its dealers claim it would already be used by Trane. So there has to be a downside to it that is not mentioned in all the advertising about more efficiency with less electricity usage. What’s the official word on whether this product or any other substitute is worth considering?