In your home, do you have an older AC, such as from before 2010? If so, then we have some important information for you. Refrigerant is a liquid inside your AC that moves between various parts to move heat, cooling your home. Chlorodifluoromethane, better known as R22 refrigerant or Freon, is one of the more popular kinds of refrigerant in the country. However, in about four months, that’s going to change.
A history of R22 refrigerant, past, and future
R22 refrigerant first saw usage when it was first created in the 1950s. It’s particularly popular for its usage in residential and commercial heating and cooling. However, in the 1970s, people discovered that R22 and similar refrigerants cause major damage to the ozone layer. As a result, the EPA and various global organizations created the Montreal Protocol, a plan to phase out ozone-damaging refrigerants. Starting in 2004, we’ve been phasing out the usage of R22 and similar gasses. One of these deadlines came in at the start of 2010. Since then, there are no manufacturers that produce AC units that use R22. The final deadline comes in at the start of 2020. When that comes around, no one will be producing R22 anymore, except for recovered and recycled R22.
What does this mean for those who use AC units with R22? Simply put, you’ll be paying a lot more to keep your old AC working. Given that older AC units already tend to need more service, your more frequent AC service calls will cost a lot more. Also, there are strict regulations on recovering and recycling R22, and only EPA-certified technicians can buy what remains of the R22 supply. This all means that R22 and all repairs involving it will cost a lot more when New Year’s rolls around.
What should you do?
With R22 prices soon rising, your best bet is to get a new AC. At No Problem Heating and Cooling, we offer new, energy-efficient models that use R401a refrigerant, which is newer and more environmentally friendly than R22. It’s possible to retrofit older units to use R401a, but that can cost as much as a new model and is certain to void the warranty. There’s also the possibility that you wind up breaking your AC, requiring to you buy a new one.
But how do you know your AC uses R22? Odds are, if your AC was made before 2010, then it uses R22. If not, then it probably uses a different refrigerant. To be certain, you should check your AC unit’s manual or nameplate, which can usually be found on the outside condenser. If you can’t find them or are still unsure, check with the AC unit’s manufacturer or call us.
Call No Problem Heating and Cooling to learn more about how we can help you get a more modern AC!