R-22 Outdoor Unit Replacement

r22 dry charge

Deciding When to Replace Your R22 AC

Recently, we have received a few questions about the advantages and disadvantages of replacing an older R-22 outdoor unit (partial replacement) versus replacing the whole system (indoor and outdoor components).  Since R-22 refrigerant and related equipment is being phased out over the next few years as part of the Montreal Protocol regulations to reduce the effect on atmospheric ozone, the decision about whether to stay with R-22 or jump to a new system with R410A is causing some confusion among HVAC consumers.  This is becoming a very common situation and there is really no right or wrong answer as it depends on your particular needs and your personal preferences.  We’ve compiled a few considerations and suggestions for reference.

Replacing an R-22 compressor or the outdoor unit (which contains the compressor) is a good, low cost way to get your A/C  system running again without changing the indoor system (which contains the cooling coil, the blower and often is integrated with a gas furnace or other heating system).  This approach can save some money,  if the indoor components are still in good shape and you can find the R-22 outdoor replacement parts along with the R-22 refrigerant. Many people have decided to do this and many contractors support this approach.  We think this repair will continue to be a viable, low cost repair option, at least through 2016 and maybe longer – as long as parts are available.

Some other low cost replacement options should be emerging even after the R-22 availability dwindles.  Many R-22 indoor coils built since 2006 were designed to be compatible with R-410A, which means a homeowner can keep the indoor equipment but upgrade to a newer outdoor unit and metering device. There are some extra parts and steps involved but it should still be lower cost than a total system replacement. Unfortunately, just like with the R-22 outdoor replacement option mentioned above, the overall efficiency of the system typically will not improve when only the outdoor equipment is replaced.

For people who are willing to pay a little more, some new, high efficiency retrofits are becoming available in the market.  These should help satisfy homeowners who want the low cost replacement but would also like to reduce their energy bills or address some comfort issues like humidity control, nighttime temperature swings or sound and air quality.

Please share any additional questions you have in the comments section below.


Did this article help you better understand your refrigerant replacement options?

Vote This Post Up 395Loading...

77 thoughts on “R-22 Outdoor Unit Replacement

  1. We have an old unit (over 15 yrs) and leaking r-22 freon. AC repair came and added $650 worth of r-22. He said our compressor seems to be overheating. I asked him if it can be replaced and immediately said can’t find any. Is that true?

  2. Hi Raaman,

    The condensing unit model number would be on the nameplate on exterior of the unit. You would need access to the interior of the unit to obtain the compressor model number.

    We would recommend contacting a licensed HVAC contractor to evaluate and suggest replacement options as the indoor unit may need replaced also, depending on age and condition.

  3. My R-22 outdoor unit isn’t working. How to find the model or serial of the condenser/compressor to replace or find the compatible one ?

  4. probably yes. If it hums the compressor windings are probably still good. replacing cap is easy. turn off power. remove cap- usually just a few screws. get p/n from cap order one on line- reinstall,

  5. Yes, I just replaced my compressor on an old R22 Goodman unit and works fine all hot summer long, I’m in Tucson Az. And you don’t need to replace indoor unit if you have one.

  6. I have a 3 ton Carrier AC outdoor unit about 20 years old. Thecompressor has grounded out and needs to be replaced. CAn I get a replacement without changing out the whole system?

    • I have the same exact problem. I’ve been told by one company that I must change out the air handler as well and by another company that I don’t need to change out the air handler. What did you do?

    • If the outdoor unit is being replaced, it is recommended to replace the indoor unit as well to match the system and for best performance and efficiency.

  7. I have a R22 ac, the compressor its not turning on, its just humming, and it trip’s off, could it be a bad capacitor?

Let us know your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *