You may have heard about the upcoming ban on R22 but what does it mean for you as a homeowner? R22 is a refrigerant commonly known as Freon or HCFC-22 that has been used in the production of air conditioners for decades. In the late 70’s scientists began to realize the environmental danger of CFC’s and HCFC’s like R22 and their role in the depletion of the ozone layer. That’s why R22 is being phased out as per regulations from the EPA. The slow phase out began many years ago and in 2010 manufacturers were required to discontinue producing new units with R22. Effective January 1, 2020 the United States will no longer be able to produce or import R22.
If your air conditioner is older than 10 years old there is a good chance it uses R22. The ban on R22 in the coming year will drastically reduce supplies, which inevitably will result in higher repair costs for older air conditioning units using the R22 refrigerant. At some point it will become cost prohibitive for home and business owners to repair a system that may be leaking R22. Your old R22 air conditioner can no longer be repaired if your service company can’t get R22. Before long you’ll be forced to replace any R22 air conditioners you have.
So what are your options going forward?
1. Do nothing until your unit fails. If you have an R-22 compatible system you are not required to stop using R-22 air conditioners nor to replace existing equipment. If you currently have an R22 system it would be a very good idea to have regular maintenance done to extend the life of your air conditioner as long as possible. Regular cleaning and maintenance will make your air conditioner run more efficiently and technicians can identify and repair minor issues before they cause breakdowns. If you have had to have your R22 system recharged in the past due to a leak it’s a good idea to at least start planning ahead and budgeting for a new system in the near future.
2. Retrofit your old R22 system to use an existing refrigerant. Retrofitting is not technically feasible for every system; you’ll need an inspection of your equipment by an expert to determine if it might work for you. Converting an R22 system to use R-410A, a safer material which is the current, compliant standard can’t be done without making major changes to the entire system. In the case of HVAC systems, this conversion requires at minimum replacement of the R-22 compressor, evaporator, and condenser with new units designed to run R-410A. The cost of retrofiting an R22 system versus buying a new system doesn’t make sense in most cases.
3. Proactively replace your R22 system. Is it worthwhile to pour money into a system that may be in poor condition that will need to be replaced soon? The cost of replacing an air conditioner is bad enough when you know it’s coming, but having to do so with no warning is much worse. No one want’s a issue like this to take them by surprise and end up having to be without air conditioning at the wrong time. At Xtreme Air Services we make the entire process of buying a new air conditioner hassle free. We handle everything from financing to installation. Call us today (972) 288-2263 and one of our expert Comfort Advisors will do a complete assessment of your needs and go over options to meet your needs and budget.
At Xtreme Air Services, we understand that the R22 refrigerant phase out is going to cause a lot of headaches and unexpected expense for homeowners and businesses. Feel free to reach out to us any any time for advice, we’re here to help! (972) 288-2263