The Ban Of R22 Refrigerant is affecting Louisville homeowners with older air conditioning systems installed before 2010. They are potentially facing a fork in the road with their AC unit: Replace their entire HVAC system or continue to pursue increasingly costly and hard-to-find R22 refrigerant when it’s time for AC service.
R22 refrigerant, sometimes known as R22 Freon or HCFC-22 Freon, has been a widely used substance for cooling in air conditioners. However, after years of using R22, it was discovered this substance is a dangerous chemical significantly contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer. As a result, the government began a phasing out of R22 decades ago. The EPA describes the phase-out here.
As of January 1, 2020, the U.S. government mandated the elimination of R22 refrigerant from use in cooling systems.
This means R22 will no longer be manufactured and cannot be used as a refrigerant in new air conditioning systems. R22 is being replaced by R-410A, a safer material which is the current, compliant standard refrigerant in air conditioning equipment.
The Ban Of R22 Refrigerant: The Impact On You
R22 may only be available through after-market sales, such as when it is recovered from older systems that have been salvaged. And since it is now August 2021, this is becoming less and less frequent, as most homeowners have been replacing their older units.
Pro tip: If your unit is more than 10 years old, this is a good time to replace your unit with a highly efficient system. Many times, AC companies, like Allgeier Air, offer rebates and financing options. Tax credits may also be available. And a new warranty will give you peace of mind.
With that being said, below are your options.
Replace Your System
This option gives you control to purchase a new HVAC unit on your schedule, without the urgency of living in a hot or cold home. It also gives you time to research energy efficiencies, products reviews, warranties, and potential costs of the latest units.
New energy efficient air conditioners save monthly energy costs. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save significantly on your energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
We often recommend replacement if a system is more than a decade old and has a significant problem. The cost to fix it may not be worth it when you’ll need a new system in a year or two, anyway.
The best thing to do is to consult an expert technician at Allgeier Air to discuss your options.
Retrofit With An Approved Refrigerant
A retrofit means you can keep your old unit (for now) and use the new, approved refrigerants – as long as your system has been properly maintained. It is important to note a retrofit is somewhat of a band-aid fix, if your unit is more than 10 years old.
There are a few things to consider.
Since this option requires extensive work, this can translate into a costly fix – funds you could be placing towards a new unit.
Also, be aware that if a faulty retrofit occurs, there is a chance your system’s warranty may not cover the damages. Check the details of your warranty for specific requirements to keep your warranty intact.
To determine if your system is a good candidate, the easiest thing to do is contact a professional AC technician from Allgeier Air. Text or call, (502) 244-9999.
In summary, a system replacement to a newer, more efficient model is the most cost-effective solution, and our recommendation.
The Ban Of R22 Refrigerant: Identifying Your AC Unit
Here’s how you can tell if your AC unit uses R22.
-Check the owner’s manual. If you cannot find it, look it up online. If you see HCFC-22, then your older unit uses R22.
-Look for the equipment nameplate. Check the indoor coil or outdoor condenser of your HVAC system for a nameplate that details the specs of your system as well as the installed refrigerant.