What Is An Air Conditioning Dry Charge? Published on April 01, 2015 Over the past 10 years, both the U.S. and Canadian governments have directed that all producers of air conditioning equipment halt production of the refrigerant R-22 (Freon) or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These refrigerants have been standardly used in air conditioners and heat pumps for the last several decades. The recommended phase-out mandates are suppose to have the HVAC industry shift to a more green friendly refrigerant with a technical code R410A. R410A has been shown to be safer for the environment. In late 2010 reputable air conditioning manufacturers began manufacturing Air Conditioning and Heat Pump units, without adding refrigerant at the factory. These units are more commonly called “dry charged units”. They can legally be sold and installed which permits your Kitchener area HVAC contractor to charge the unit on-site with R22. R22 is still legal for AC repair or service for a few more years. The purpose of these Dry Charged Units is to provide the greater Kitchener area a more simple and relatively inexpensive replacement option for central air conditioners and heat pumps. However, these units also circumvent the spirit of the mandates, which was to wean the industry off less eco-friendly refrigerants. Kitchener homeowners should be aware that these Dry Charged Units are allowed in the U.S. and Canada. Because of some key ambiguities in the written policies, the entire outdoor unit is technically looked upon as a replacement “part”. These days, condensers or heat pumps intended for use in a replacement R-22 system are now referred to as “Dry Charge” or “Nitrogen Charged” systems. The following are some Frequently Asked Questions about this recent A/C Dry Charge trend. Do you recommend purchasing a Dry Charge Air Conditioning System? It depends on a number of things. The best thing to do is learn what types of HVAC equipment the heating and air conditioning industry can offer and seek solutions that speaks to your personal comfort, efficiency and lifestyle needs. Take time to understand the benefits and difference between a dry charge unit and new air conditioning products with R-410A refrigerant. Top reasons for buying an R-410A system Current R-410A systems offer benefits to Kitchener homeowners that Dry Charge units do not. Some of the benefits include: Increased energy efficiency for comfort at a cost savings Modern technology to lessen humidity Current production refrigerant solutions ensuring longer life and extended availability of refrigerant Extended warranty periods for even greater peace of mind Quieter operation for a more peaceful indoor environment Ozone friendly refrigerant for lower impact on the environment Matched coil solutions for enhanced reliability and guaranteed cooling and heating performance Are Dry Change Air Conditioning Unit legal to install? Yes. There are no Federal laws or legal restriction on the installation of R-22 or Dry Charge Equipment, as long as it is as a repair for an existing system. Does a warranty come with a Dry Charge Unit? Major manufacturers have a standard 5-year parts warranty on dry charge units. While this offers industry standard protection on the components it does not provide protection against R-22 refrigerant prices, which are expected to increase significantly. Will the R-22 refrigerant be expensive to buy? It is likely that as a result of supply and demand, the refrigerant will probably go up in price. As the phase out process of R22 continues, new R-22 refrigerant production will progressively be reduced, with full elimination of its production in 2020. Until that date, indications are that there will likely be sufficient supply to meet the current demand. If you have more questions about refrigerant, we encourage you to contact Hammond Plumbing & Heating for clarification.