The government-mandated phase-out of the R-22 refrigerant commonly used in home and business HVAC systems means costs are rising, and the product won’t be available at all after 2020. Those who have systems that use R-22 refrigerant must have their systems retrofitted if possible or upgrade to new systems as soon as possible.
The R-22 Changeover Is Inevitable
Refrigerants are how air conditioning systems make cold air, but many of them have also contributed to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer and caused other harmful effects on the environment, including global warming. Since 1987, an international phase-out of substances that deplete the ozone layer has been underway, and the days of refrigerants that contain CFCs and HCFCs are now coming to an end.
The staged phase-out means that R-22 is now essentially obsolete. Production and importing of the product for most purposes has been banned since January 1, 2010. In that year, production of this product was reduced by 60 percent. Existing supplies were allowed to be used, and recycled R-22 could be reused.
Since January 1, 2015, sale and use of the product is severely restricted, and production has been reduced by 90 percent. R-22 refrigerant available now is extremely expensive and impractical to use in most applications.
By 2020, the product won’t be available at all, and use of existing supplies or recycled R-22 won’t be allowed. All equipment that uses this refrigerant will need to be retrofitted or replaced by that time — giving you only a few years to decide what action to take. Your current system that uses this refrigerant is already difficult and expensive to service.
It’s Time To Move Forward
Some systems can be retrofitted to use other refrigerants. But not all systems can be retrofitted, and it may not make sense anyway. Air conditioning equipment is only expected to last 10 to 15 years, so retrofitting may be throwing good money at a system that’s toward the end of its lifespan. Plus, modern HVAC systems are much more energy efficient than those made only a few years ago. That means upgrading to a new system may save you money on utility bills every month.
More efficient systems that use less energy result in reduced production of carbon dioxide and harm the environment less. Modern systems also use refrigerants that can’t deplete the ozone layer and are nonflammable, making them better in every way. These include R-410A, R404A and R-507 refrigerants.
We Can Help You Make The Right Decision
For most homes and businesses, the best decision is to purchase a new air conditioning unit or HVAC system that’s energy efficient and meets modern refrigerant rules. You’ll save on your utility bills, help save the planet and get better performance too.
At Daniels Air, we’ve been keeping up with technology changes in the heating and air conditioning industry since 1969. We offer high-quality Trane products that will meet your HVAC needs better than anything available in the past. What can we do for you today?