Could you imagine a hot summer day without your AC?
You’d probably rather not. Unfortunately, that might be a reality for some homeowners in a year or two.
Let’s break it down: You count on your hard-working AC unit to keep you cool on hot summer days. However, in order to provide the comfort you need, your AC relies on refrigerant.
Sounds all well and good, sure. However, R-22, the most common type of refrigerant, is being phased out, meaning new R-22 will not be produced after 2020. Since your AC system more likely than not relies on R-22 refrigerant, you need to be prepared.
Read on to learn what the R-22 refrigerant phase out means for homeowners — as far as maintaining their AC and their summertime comfort.
R-22 Refrigerant Phase Out: The Basics
Simply put, refrigerant is a chemical that pulls cool air out of the hot air, allowing your AC to lower the indoor temperature on a hot day. Since refrigerant is the central component in the refrigeration cycle, replacing or recharging lost refrigerant is one of the most common measures our technicians take during an AC tuneup. Typically, for older systems, adding refrigerant is an annual necessity.
Due to environmental concerns, R-22 refrigerant is being switched out in favor of R-410A. While the law doesn’t forbid the use of R-22, production will be forbidden. Stockpiles may exist, but eventually they too will run out.
Even though both types of refrigerant perform the same function, R-22 and R-410A are completely incompatible.
Bottom Line: You can’t use R-410A in a system made for R-22.
This leaves homeowners with systems designed for R-22 refrigerant facing high prices or the prospect of boiling hot summer days— with no escape.
R-22 Refrigerant Phase Out: What This Means for You
More likely than not, your AC uses R-22. Here’s what you need to consider.
The price for tuneups, maintenance, and repair is the main issue you need to consider about the R-22 phase out. Since recharging refrigerant is a staple among both preventative and emergency maintenance, the phase out will impact almost ALL types AC service.
The law of supply and demand will mean that R-22 refrigerant distributors will charge dramatically higher prices for the remaining refrigerant, meaning the price for all AC services on R-22 AC systems will skyrocket.
In the next few years, you can expect to pay more money for your AC necessities — if your AC relies on R-22. As your AC system ages, it will begin to require more maintenance and more refrigerant — at increasing higher prices.
What Can You Do?
First things first, you need to find out which type of refrigerant your AC requires. Bring out a One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning technician for a tuneup to find out.
If you bought a new AC system within the past few years, your AC may use R-410A — and you’ll be in the clear.
If not, you need to get prepared. You need to start saving ASAP — either for the increasingly valuable R-22 refrigerant or for an upgrade.
Eventually, every R-22 AC system will become obsolete. Before they become obsolete, they will become exceedingly expensive to maintain. We’re recommending that homeowners consider upgrading to an energy-efficient new AC system to save on their cooling bills and on refrigerant.
If you have questions about what you can expect from the R-22 phase out and your specific system, feel free to give us a call. Even if we didn’t install your current AC system, we can provide you with details about what maintenance might look like in the future — absolutely no fee or obligation.
Contact us to talk about your AC system and for all of your heating and cooling needs.