New Refrigerant lines necessary for new Central AC?


My central AC is 20 years old. It still works, but, given the age, I'm concerned that the need for a new system may not be that far into the future. When it comes time install a new condenser, I probably would want to install a new furnace too, since it is also 20 years old.....good idea, right?
KEY QUESTION: I was told that when a new AC system is installed, they like to install new refrigerant lines although the customer sometimes will opt to not have that done. Is it really important to install new refrigerant lines?
Reason I ask: my basement ceiling is finished with drywall. Replacing existing lines would involve ripping up the ceiling. However, one option that that would NOT involve ripping up ceiling drywall, would be install NEW lines by running them out a straighter path in which the lines would only be visible inside the house within a closet, except that, once outside the lines are outside they would be running undereath the deck and then run along the side of back of the townhouse for maybe 4 or 5 feet or so to get to the condenser location. Since my townhouse is a condo, I don't know if they would allow having the refrigerant lines be run from a different location in which the lines would be more visible than before. (The existing lines exit the house right behind where the condenser sits.) Also, the association may be installing a new deck within 10 years, and if new refrigerant lines were running underneath the deck then this could be problematic when they replace the deck. Do you think my concerns about running new lines from a different location aren't valid?
Thanks,
J.
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Almost always a good idea, yes.

Largely depends on the condition of the old lines -and- the specs/ fittings required for the new lines. Some contractors may require new lines for their standard warranty.

Are you sure?
Say you needed to replace a Romex (elec.) cable running thru the wall. Often the new cable can be attached to the old, allowing one to pull the new into place when removing the old.
Something like that -may- be practical for the refrigerant lines? Obviously this is the kind of thing you could ask about when getting an HVAC estimate, unless you can already see why it wouldn't work.

Hard to follow that ...

Ask 'em.

Can't tell from here.
Good Luck, Puddin'
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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Jay-n-123 writes:

They "like" to, eh?
Sometimes you need them, but usually you're just padding the bill, like pinstriping on the new car.
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On Fri, 27 Apr 2007 22:36:47 -0500, Richard J Kinch

Keep the old ons, check for leaks and have them blown out good.
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On Sat, 28 Apr 2007 03:49:07 +0000, Lamey wrote:

I replaced everything, CU/ A coil/ lines. #1 because everything is sealed with a partial charge eliminating some of the time needed to pull a vacuum. Install a filter dryer on the liquid line and bingo, instant a/c.
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wrote:

The new large lines are all 7/8 " minimum. Your old one is 3/4". If you use the old line, it may work ok, but it voids the warranty.
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When possible, installers like to replace the refrigerant lines. As the old ones may be leaking, or about to leak. They may be kinked or flattened in places.
The lubricating oils in the old R22 systems aren't compatible with the new R410A systems.
So, reusing the line set is OK if you're willing to take the chance of it not working very well. And if you use the same refrigerant.
Best bet is to discuss it with the installers.
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