how to remove protective wire grid from around Lennox AC condenser fins ?

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AcidWater

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My 1987 Lennox AC unit runs like a champ, never loses coolant.
I had the fan shroud sand blasted and powder coated so it will last another several decades.
I want to do the same thing to the ~2"x4" grid wire fence that surrounds the radiator fins.

I can see that the ends are not fastened, just tucked behind two vertical metal parts on the back side, and
behind/under the sheet metal on top.
I can see various hex screws, but I can't see how to remove just the two verticals & the top, and I don't want to
start blindly disassembling the whole outer frame. I don't want to get into removing things that support
the mechanical parts.
 
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Fitter30

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A 36 year old unit refrigerant 22 that as of Jan1 2020 was banned by the epa for production and import. Doubt seriously if anyone would replace the compressor or add refrigerant to your system. Still want to get to the screen pull the whole top and fan motor corners of the unit compressor and condenser shouldn't move.
 

AcidWater

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Don't need parts or recharge, works great. Took out too many screws I think, but nothing fell apart. So I can get the screen sand blasted & powder coated. If I get brave I might lift off the whole top piece & do that too. But its pretty tight even with all the screws out.

Also vacuumed out all the mulch that was on the inside.

On the bottom, where the radiator sits on the bottom pan - I see some rust and dry gook. Was this area sealed with mastic? Seems like a place that retains water. I could re-gook it, but if I miss a spot it might retain more water in places.

On the top are 3 screws that go into 3 vertical supports (with a U cross section) in 3 corners. The last corner has the electric wiring housing. However, one of those supports dropped maybe 3/4" when I removed the screw, so I had to remove the fan guard to reach in & lift it up, in order to replace the screw. I need to take a look at the bottom & find out why it is dropping.
 
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WorthFlorida

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36 year old unit is probably at best Seer 8. New models is a minimum of Seer 14 mandated by the EPA. Most are now Seer 16. Replacing the entire system will drop your cooling costs about 25-30%. After 36 years and never had the pressure a check, your probably low on R22. It might seem it's working great but the coils might just be above 32 degrees. Below it the coil freezes from the condensation. If it's borderline, the warm air will keep it from totally icing over.
 

AcidWater

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36 year old unit is probably at best Seer 8. New models is a minimum of Seer 14 mandated by the EPA. Most are now Seer 16. Replacing the entire system will drop your cooling costs about 25-30%. After 36 years and never had the pressure a check, your probably low on R22. It might seem it's working great but the coils might just be above 32 degrees. Below it the coil freezes from the condensation. If it's borderline, the warm air will keep it from totally icing over.
Interesting, but what is the cost & installation cost of such units? If the payback time is 20 years...
And if getting into the indoor sheet metal, ought to replace the 1967 gas furnace - reliable, no electronic parts to fail.
 

AcidWater

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I was trying to find the SEER and one source said "builder's grade SEER 8-point-something.
It also said that the new 410A coolant requires a taller evaporator, so might not fit into the
existing furnace height, which would add the cost of replacing the furnace.

It runs for a good while, which is the correct behavior. Short cycling does not remove the humidity.
I have it turn on before dawn with a couple degrees lower than normal OFF temp.
Then it does not run until the afternoon.

Other than cracking the unit open to check the pressure, I suppose I could have the amperage
checked to see if its still up to spec & not drawing more ?

The condenser has copper tubing and aluminum fins - what units have that these days?
Also, the installer noted that he used silver solder, which is stronger than lead/tin solder.
Also I think harder, but less prone to vibration cracking ???

The cooling season is done so I have a long time to think about it - but later when all sorts of other
house maintenance is finished, I'm exhausted mentally & my body hurts.
 
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WorthFlorida

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New units are all aluminum. All refrigerant systems use silver solder. It's a brazing process. Temperature to braze is above 840ºF where as plumbing is less than 840ºF. https://www.uti.edu/blog/welding/brazing-soldering-welding

My home was built in 2007, we bought it in Nov. 2011. Around 2014 the air handler coil had a leak. Not soon after that my son's AC also had a coil leak. Both homes were built by the same contractor. It seemed coils were failing that were manufactured around the same time.

I opted to replace the entire unit since just the coil replacement was about 60% of a new unit. This is our forever home and I didn't want the AC unit to be replaced during retirement. In Florida where the AC is used almost every day, you can get about 15-20 years of life out of a unit. Older Seers10 my lasted 10 years mainly the low pressure copper line was leaking somewhere.
 
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