It has been illegal to produce or import R22 refrigerant in the U.S. since January 1, 2020. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on this ozone-depleting substance began a phase-out of the product. Additionally, the manufacture of R22 AC or heat pump systems was banned to make way for chlorine-free R410A refrigerant.
The ban affects:
The new R410A refrigerant is non-ozone depleting, environmentally friendly, and non-flammable. It also doesn’t contain butane, isopentane, isobutane, or other hydrocarbons.
For now, you can still use your R22 air conditioner. However, fixing it can be problematic and expensive. Servicing it may require using R22 refrigerant stockpiles or reclaimed refrigerant. Like any AC system, old or new, these crucial pieces of HVAC equipment use refrigerant to absorb or release heat as it flows through a series of coils. Refrigerant transforms between liquid and gas states and undergoes pressure changes to exert a change in air temperature.
Repairing an old air conditioner can be expensive because R22 supplies are dwindling. You may find refrigerant for equipment made before 2010, but it’s only going to get even more expensive as time goes on. A leak can and should be repaired rather than simply topping off the system. But if you need a substantial amount of R22, it may cost more to repair the system than put money down on a new AC.
Another alternative to replacement is retrofitting your current R22 air conditioner to work with the new refrigerant. Also known as a “drop-in” replacement, this requires significant modifications to equipment. Otherwise, it won’t run because R410A refrigerant requires different pressure levels than R22. If doing a retrofit, check the warranty to see if it’ll cover damages in case of a problem. There’s also the risk of voiding the system warranty and safety certification, which is another reason to consider a replacement.
Squeezing another year or two out of your old system may ultimately cost more than replacing it sooner. The situation can get quite urgent if your old AC suddenly quits. Shopping around for a new heating and cooling system gives you time to plan and install it on your schedule. Meanwhile, you can evaluate product reviews, costs, and energy efficiency as well as the latest features.
Your AC dealer can also help you evaluate the best options for your home. Many offer financing options to help afford your new system. You can benefit from greater reliability and lower electric bills along with low monthly payments. Purchasing a new heating and cooling system does not have to be a financial strain.
Reasons to replace your R22 AC now include:
If your AC still uses R22 refrigerant, Nexgen can evaluate your home, determine the right sized air conditioner, and properly install and service it. Our certified technicians specialize in installation, repair, and maintenance of leading-brand equipment. We serve all of Southern California and provide indoor air quality, plumbing, and drain cleaning services as well. Under our X Protects plan, you’ll receive long-term warranties, multiple financing options, and services delivered to the highest standards. To learn more, call 833-729-9735.