If you have an older air conditioner at your home or business, you need to be aware of the R-22 phaseout. Because of the phaseout, you are going to need to start thinking about new options for your air conditioner. Though this is not new news, some critical deadlines are coming up, and you need to know how it affects you and your air conditioner.
What Is the R-22 Phaseout?
R-22, the main refrigerant used in air conditioners for many years, poses a significant danger for the environment. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency started a plan to phase out R-22 between 2013 and 2020. Because there were so many units in the field that used this refrigerant, the process slowly reduced the amount of R-22 being produced until it was completely phased out. This gave homeowners and commercial property owners time to upgrade their AC systems to those that use a new, safer refrigerant. Lower production drove up prices naturally, triggering many people to switch to a different option. By 2020, R-22 will no longer be produced or imported into the United States.
What Does the R-22 Phaseout Mean for You?
So, what does this mean for you? If you need an air conditioning repair that requires adding refrigerant, which is a common part of air conditioning, you must have R-22. But after January 1, 2020, no more R-22 will be made or imported in the United States. Once the existing supply is used up, your equipment will not be fixable. Between now and then, what R-22 is available is going to have extremely high prices. For this reason, even a minor AC repair could mean the need to replace your system with one that does not use R-22.
What Are Your Options?
If you still have a unit that uses R-22, you have three main options. The R-22 phaseout will eventually affect you, so consider these opportunities:
- Upgrade your unit now – Most likely, you are going to have to upgrade your unit when a breakdown occurs. You can be proactive and make the change now, enjoying the greater energy efficiency of a new system and removing the risk of an R-22 problem in the future.
- Do nothing – You don’t have to do anything right now. You just need to know that a breakdown will mean you have to replace the system after the phaseout is complete because the repairs will be extremely pricey.
- Retrofit your system – Some systems can be retrofitted to accept newer refrigerant. You will need an HVAC professional to check your system to see if this is an option for you.
Which option is best for you? If you’re not sure, we can help. Reach out to Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to learn more about your options, so you will be prepared for the R-22 phaseout.