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Dry R-22 Units: What’s the Hype?


By now, you’ve probably heard about the “dry R-22” units that we are shipping. These units are replacements for existing R-22 systems. They are shipped dry, without refrigerant, and have a nitrogen holding charge. Once in the field, the technician must purge the nitrogen and charge the unit with R-22 refrigerant (here’s a video on how to properly install a dry R-22 unit).

Because these units are shipped without refrigerant, they are in compliance with EPA and DOE regulations. Yet, there is a great amount of controversy on whether these units are helping or hurting the industry as well as the environment.

At NORDYNE, we feel these units are positive all around. Here’s why:

    • Existing R-22 units are most likely less efficient than 13 SEER. By replacing these units with a 13-SEER dry unit – versus a repair such as a compressor change-out – we are increasing energy efficiency.
    • Dry R-22 units are not displacing R-410A sales. In almost all cases, the dry R-22 units are an alternative to repair or replacing with a window air conditioner.
    • Dry R-22 equipment provides the consumer with a more conscientious option for the repair choice that they are already making. This choice is more energy efficient, reliable and protects the environment due to the highest level of leak protection offered on all controlled production units.
    • It is a more cost-effective and less complicated install than using an R-410A outdoor component with an existing indoor R-22 indoor component.
    • There are still ample supplies of R-22 at fair prices.

While the still-sluggish economy recovers, dry R-22 units make good business sense for the heating and cooling industry as well as price-conscious consumers.

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7 comments on “Dry R-22 Units: What’s the Hype?”
  • PS.. the link to the training video above, does not take you to the video but rather a generic page. Please try it yourself.

  • Responding to those above claiming less effeciency when using a 13 seer condensor on the old evap coil, did you measure and observe this yourself, or read it in a book?

    I have had the opporunity to test and record working, like new condition, existing 10 seer R22 systems, measure amp draw and indoor temperature split, then replace with a R22 13 seer dry unit, and immediatly test again under the same ambient and indoor conditions, and in every case I got a 30-35 percent drop in amp draw, along with the same or better temperature drop (split) indoors, along with confirmation and compliments from the customer on the improvement.

    Where are you getting your information?

  • This is a positive situation for many of my customers out there and for my company. Having taken on several realty companies over the years, I now have the option of offering a lower cost replacement for owners who have had their systems stolen or mis-used by previous tenants.
    We always suggest upgrading but if their systems are less than five years old I have an option. Have to add, being flexible with these customers have increased my business.

  • I would like to respond to ” “High-side” changeout,…and if the Dealer is replacing the coil as well, he might as well install R410A product.”

    This is not a new issue, any replacement of a 10 SEER condensing with a 13 SEER condensing unit would have faced the same issue. 10 SEER units have not been available since 2006.
    It is what it is!
    If someone does not like it they should call their congressman and ask that “ALL” EPA standards regarding this issue be allowed to have an acceptation made for them!
    That would not go over very well.

  • The biggest issue that we see with Dry22 replacements is that on a “High-side” changeout, the old coil is likely to reduce BOTH the capacity (from 10-15%) and efficiency of the system. A 3 ton Dry 22 unit, installed on an old 8-10 SEER piston coil, is likely to have a capacity as low as 29,000 BtuH.
    …and if the Dealer is replacing the coil as well, he might as well install R410A product.


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