Under the U.S. Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the United States is phasing out the production and import of R22 refrigerant in order to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. By phasing our ozone-depleting substances, we are reducing the risk of skin cancer caused by UV Radiation exposure. We are also lowering greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change.
How long will we be able to get R22 for older air conditioners?
The phaseout calls for zero manufacturing of R22 in the year 2020 and a very large cut in production in the years leading up to 2020. As we near this mark, production has been scaled back tremendously. What we used to pay $100 for, is now $800! You can purchase recycled R22 after 2020 but the cost will be extremely high due to supply and demand.
Repair vs. Replace?
You do not have to replace your existing R22 air conditioning system if it is working properly and you do not have a refrigerant leak. If you are low on refrigerant, it is because your system is leaking. You can repair the leak, fill it with R22 and continue to use your old system or you can replace your older inefficient unit with a new R410a refrigerant unit. Once you replace your system, you won’t be under any constraints of the R22 situation. Repairs are going to be costly but you will have to weigh out your situation and decide repair or replace.
What can I do to extend the life of my older R22 system?
You should have a Maintenance Service Inspection completed every year. During that inspection, the technician can tell you if your system is starting to leak or you have a potential leak that can be addressed early to avoid a costly repair later. Keeping your filter changed, preventative repairs addressed and your system clean will extend the life of your heating and cooling system. We have a “pass/Fail” Inspection system that will tell you exactly where your trouble spots are so we can repair them before it turns into a more costly repair or a system replacement is needed prematurely.
Contact the experts!