R22 refrigerant is a commonly used refrigerant in domestic air conditioners. It is a compound that includes chlorine and fluorine, which can potentially deplete the ozone layer. This can lead to enhancing the greenhouse effect, which has studies showing negative effects on our environment.
In 1987, an international treaty called the Montreal Protocol was universally ratified and was designed to phase out substances that contributed to ozone depletion. The United States was a party to this treaty, so the EPA decided to implement a plan to phase out R22. The date was set for January 2020, where all R22 was banned (meaning it was illegal to import or manufacture R22).
Prior to this date, there were exceptions for R22. The EPA began scaling back and limiting the production. It could be used to service existing air conditioners that had leaks in their refrigerant system. Now; that it is no longer in production, the cost of R22 continues to rise. Some refrigerant manufacturers have introduced products to act as a replacement for R22, such M099 (R438a). Please be very careful with these products, because they can lead to refrigerant contamination. Not all equipment manufacturers approve this product as a direct replacement, so your best bet is to consult your local servicing HVAC contractor for the facts. Andersen Heating & Cooling is here to help.
Homeowners and business owners alike that have older air conditioners, may be faced with a difficult decision when a repair is required for your system. Depending upon the repair, it may make sense to repair your system versus replacing. Your local heating and air company; Andersen Heating & Cooling, can provide you with the best solution. While it may be tempting to keep your unit as long as possible; you most certainly will pay more for repairs going forward. This is due to the increased cost of R22 and availability of R22 refrigerant.
Now that it is illegal to manufacture or import new R22, you really the need the weigh the options for your aging air conditioner. Have a discussion with your servicing HVAC company and consider your options. They are the experts and can help you make the best decision. It is better to be proactive now. If you wait to dead of summer; you may be faced with large repair bills and an uncomfortable home or office. Here are the things to discuss and consider with your service provider:
- Age of your system
- Recent Repairs
- Energy Costs
- Potential utility or manufacturer rebates on a new system
- Energy Savings
- Better Warranty
Being proactive about repairs or replacement for your home’s most valuable appliance is never a bad thing. While your business or home still has air conditioning, you can take your time choosing a new system that fits your needs and budget. Research your cooling needs and speak to your professional at Andersen about which unit will be right for you.
If you wait to replace, then you may find yourself in the middle of summer without air conditioning. You should consider these factors if you choose to wait to your current air conditioner fails:
- Contractors are very busy in the summer, you may have to wait
- Availability of the equipment
- Installation time (which means days without air conditioning)
- You may have to make a quicker decision than you would like
Either way, get your research done and talk to your local professional at Andersen Heating & Cooling about your next steps.