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Thread: Can I just replace the exterior unit without an entire house retrofit?

  1. #1
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    Can I just replace the exterior unit without an entire house retrofit?

    Greetings,

    I'm so clueless I accidentally typed 'cllueless' as my username. No, really, I'm great with computing but terrible with HVAC'ing.

    Okay. I'm going to sell a condo. It has an ancient Trane system in it. The exterior AC unit is tired looking. In a particularly rough heatwave a few years ago the capacitor bought it. $ later it was replaced and all has been well for two years.

    Most buyers would like to see a more robust 'new' machine on the patio, that is silent. more energy efficient, and maybe moves a touch more air. That's all I want to replace.

    HVAC businesses send a guy out who frowns, mumbo jumbos, and says the entire system has to be swapped out -- $$ area. Meanwhile my savvy plumber neighbor hired a guy to only do what I want for like $ including the unit. That deal made me a tad nervous but, remember, my plumber friend is savvy and would know if it's okay to just replace the exterior unit.

    So what do you think? I'm not trying to get the world's most perfect optimal system. I just want to replace the exterior box. Can I call local HVAC people and essentially demand that's all they do? Or will they pull a "we can't guarantee it unless we do the whole house" or the like?

    Thanks for any and all help,

    Cllueless with two Ls
    Last edited by beenthere; 03-10-2021 at 06:20 AM. Reason: Prices

  2. #2
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    Is your system a Heat Pump? As those work better when they are matched. What refrigerant is your system? R22 or the newer stuff R410A, thinking your plumber friend has a R22 system a he may have used a R407C Condensor, which means you don’t have to replace the indoor metering device, and it’s a easy swap, new drier, leak test etc. those R407C units come with a 5/5 compressor and parts warranty.

    How long ago did your plumber friend replace the OD unit, as they made dry charged ( no refrigerant ) R22 systems a few years ago. I think dry charge R22 stopped in January 2016

    How old is your system? What is the overall condition of the indoor section?

  3. #3
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    Nice car.

    I hate to say I'm cllueless again, but on this question, no clue. I have a gas furnace in the attic. Does that answer your question?

  4. #4
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    Well here's the deal. The outdoor unit and indoor coil are designed for R22 refrigerant. As of 2010 manufacturers were no longer allowed to make those items using the now ban refrigerant.
    So that means if you do the outdoor unit you would need to do the indoor coil as well.
    I'm not sure if anyone is selling R407c units anymore.
    Maybe Joey knows different.

  5. #5
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    New equipment is a selling point.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cllueless Carl View Post
    Nice car.

    I hate to say I'm cllueless again, but on this question, no clue. I have a gas furnace in the attic. Does that answer your question?
    Outdoor unit will tell you ( if data plate is legible ) what refrigerant you have, even the model number and brand of the indoor coil. They made those old coil pretty solid ( thick copper ) back in the day, if yours is copper. Modern copper coils are paper thin.

    As far as I know R22 is not banned, but they stopped production. Still can get that stuff ( pricey thou ) as they reclaim used R22 refrigerant to practically virgin standards. There is still tons of R22 machines in the real world, and not just residential.

    January 1, 2020
    Ban on remaining production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b. After 2020, the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities

    It’s a judgement call, certainly a new matched system, is a better choose, as you can ask more for the residence. Don’t see why it’s a negative installing new matched systems. As someone here mentioned ( resides in Houston ) when they sell the residence it has a stipulation to install new matching new systems, so new homeowner gets a new system with the full manufacturers warranty.

    Here is the R407C made by Johnson Control/York dated 2021

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...oUqPYSVPdohyq1

  7. #7
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    Ah! We're getting somewhere. I can assure you it's old school refrigerant.

    UPDATE -- A new question popped in my head. How did my neighbor get the new exterior unit without dealing with the furnace UNLESS he bought an old styled refrigerant? Like maybe a used on or something. I'm going to ask him that one.

    THANKS EVERYONE.

  8. #8
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    When I click on that link condensers don't come up.
    Are they listed somewhere else ?
    Oh wait I found it under the specs.
    Who sells Guardian ? Would that be my local York Dealer ?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cllueless Carl View Post
    Ah! We're getting somewhere. I can assure you it's old school refrigerant.

    UPDATE -- A new question popped in my head. How did my neighbor get the new exterior unit without dealing with the furnace UNLESS he bought an old styled refrigerant? Like maybe a used on or something. I'm going to ask him that one.

    THANKS EVERYONE.
    He probably has a cased coil, or uncased coil, attached to the furnace. Using the furnace blower fan for the A/C side. Probably horizontal mounted furnace in attic, if he has the same style residence as yours and mounted in the attic.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...EOttGMjPL3Diq-

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    When I click on that link condensers don't come up.
    Are they listed somewhere else ?
    Oh wait I found it under the specs.
    Who sells Guardian ? Would that be my local York Dealer ?
    Evcon is the same brand as Guardian. Made by Johnson Control Dated 2021 never personally installed one. Comes with one lb of R407C in condenser, last time I heard... believe they only come in straight A/C line, no Heat Pump models. Guardian and Evcon also sells R410A units.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...7oblDE78y6T5H9

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  12. #11
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    I'll check with Johnstone Supply tomorrow 👍🏻

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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joey View Post
    He probably has a cased coil, or uncased coil, attached to the furnace. Using the furnace blower fan for the A/C side. Probably horizontal mounted furnace in attic, if he has the same style residence as yours and mounted in the attic.
    I'll get a latter up here and take some pictures. 'Cause if there's a chance I can leave the attic alone I'll be pleased.

  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cllueless Carl View Post
    I'll get a latter up here and take some pictures. 'Cause if there's a chance I can leave the attic alone I'll be pleased.
    Check overall condition of coil, the steel frame which holds the coils together may be a rust bucket. Some surface rust is normal, but big chucks falling into the coil pan or the frame is rotting is another story...

  16. #14
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    Just have the outdoor and indoor coil replaced.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Just have the outdoor and indoor coil replaced.
    X2

  18. #16
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    I've had a change of plans. Full system overhaul for resale reasons. (Plus to get a better system.)

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  20. #17
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    IMO, May want to find a brand manufacturer that offers transferable manufacturers warranty ( when system is registered initially ) as once ownership changes hand typically the manufacturers warranty drops in half for the new owner. You don’t necessarily have to pay for that fee, but the new owners usually pays a small fee to get your full manufacturers warranty put in their names,...also as a selling point...

    Ask for AHRI matched systems with the AHRI number to be installed on your “full system overhaul “ i as you can print the certificate to show potential buyers your system is not a mismatch system and will preform at its optimal ratings,..err even thou those ratings are not real world. Still nice to have that Certificate.

    You can check here to see your ratings and print the certificate. Also keeps Contractors on their toes somewhat when a customers ask for things like that.

    Says it’s down for a few hours but you can check here

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...znxCFNAi8fJHHj

  21. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    When I click on that link condensers don't come up.
    Are they listed somewhere else ?
    Oh wait I found it under the specs.
    Who sells Guardian ? Would that be my local York Dealer ?
    I got a condenser coil(micro channel) under warranty from York here.

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