What are the most recent updates about R-22 Refrigerant? What do you need to know about the latest changes around R-22 refrigerant and why you won’t be able to get any soon.
Whether you know what R-22 is or not, the phasing out of freon may affect how you stay cool this spring and summer. Things are heating up, here are some facts that will give you answers fast around frequent questions about R-22 refrigerant.
Here are some common questions around R-22 refrigerant:
- What is R-22 refrigerant?
- Why is being phased out?
- What is it going to cost me to repair my old A/C now?
Things are heating up, here are some facts that will give you answers fast around frequent questions about R-22 refrigerant.
1. Question #1 what is R-22 Refrigerant?
R-22 is a refrigerant known as freon used most commonly in air conditioning units up until 2015. It’s a gas used in an air conditioner to cool the air for your home. We know it sounds more like a robot from that big sci-fi mega movie.
2. Question #2 Who determined that it needed to go away?
The (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency, decided to ban the use of R-22 refrigerant. Virgin hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22 is being phased out under the Clean Air Act.
This prohibition requires the EPA to drop different types of R-22 refrigerant. In 2014 the production of R-22 refrigerant was dramatically reduced and will continue to do so every year.
By 2020 R-22 will be entirely phased out no longer produced or consumed by consumers.
3. Question #3 My A/C was made before 2004 what should I do?
Don’t place it in the yard and plant flowers in it yet!
R-22 refrigerant is still available, and you can have your A/C unit serviced. The cost will be high and continue to rise. You can also choose to use an alternative HFC refrigerant that the EPA has approved. You will spend less for the refrigerant, but the job is labor-intensive and requires the replacement of some parts to make it work.
Weigh out all of your options and the long term results of a choice to repair a system using freon or replacing the refrigerant. Most likely taking the leap and investing in an energy-efficient A/C system will cost you less over time, as well as saving you money on your energy bills immediately. New heating and air conditioning equipment will last you 10-15 years and come with a manufacturer warranty of at least 10 years.
If you keep it properly maintained the warranty would cover any replacement parts or failures, giving you peace of mind.
4. QUESTION #4 What is going to cost me to fix my A/C now?
It will cost you more now to fix your A/C.
Although alternative refrigerant cost much less than R-22, you will need to flush out the existing refrigerant; you will incur additional charges for all the work that needs to be done to remove the old R-22 and replace it with R407C.
The alternative refrigerant that has been approved by the EPA for R-22 systems is R407c, and most warranties will not be affected by the change. To be sure contact the manufacturer if you still have a warranty on your system and inquire.
5. QUESTION #5 What can I do to avoid the high cost of system failure?
The short answer is, “take care of the system you have and start budgeting for a new one”
With an annual maintenance plan, you get the routine maintenance required to keep your current system operating at peak performance.
Through maintenance, you can know exactly how much time you have left before you will need to decide to replace so that you can prepare for it mentally and financially. Not to mention you get 15% off any repairs or services, as needed.
Here at NICE Home Services, we adhere to the spirit of the EPA guidelines by finding and fixing any leak in a system to keep this harmful R-22 from leaking into our ozone. Not only is this good for the earth but will save you money on having to add refrigerant to a broken system.
Once you have a maintenance plan with NICE every year, we save 1/2 of your investment in the plan to go towards the system replacement. Much like a 401k, you can plan for the “retirement” of your A/C unit.
If your system is stilling using this banned refrigerant, you will be facing some big decisions as R-22 is only becoming more expensive and increasingly scarce. We leave you with a shortlist of things to consider when you are choosing to repair or replace
Here are some things to consider:
- age of the current system
- the efficiency of the system
- leakage issues
- alternative refrigerants compatible and available
- efficiency and cost of modern refrigerants
- manufacturers warranty’s and advice
For a good reason R-22 has been outlawed since 2004 for use in new AC equipment and beginning in 2010, the only R-22 available has been recycled from old AC equipment or reclaimed and used.
Let us know what you think in the comments. Is R-22 still available where you are? What is your cost?