When you own a home in Dallas/Fort Worth, there are a lot of maintenance items to take care of. But for heating and cooling systems, there’s one change coming that will make a big impact. The refrigerant used in older HVAC systems, R-22 or Freon, is being phased out. So, if your home has a heating or cooling system that uses R22 refrigerant, you may be in for a sticker shock. The phaseout of R-22 refrigerant will have big impact on homeowners; keep reading to learn why!
Types of refrigerant in HVAC systems
Most people might not give refrigerant much thought. But, refrigerant is big business!
Refrigerants are common in all kinds of products. For example, you’ll find refrigerant in refrigerators and ice makers. And of course, air conditioners!
Chemists have developed many different types of refrigerants. There is no single refrigerant that is used unilaterally in all refrigerant applications. For example, some automobiles use R-134A while most new air conditioners use R-410A. The application is the determining factor in what refrigerant to use. That’s because the properties of the chemical matter in the application.
That being said, it’s important to know what kind of refrigerant your air conditioner has in it. The refrigerant type should be printed on the side of your air conditioner. If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, there’s a good chance your system has R-22.
What is the R-22 Phaseout?
You may recall from science class the importance of the ozone layer. A healthy ozone layer is essential to protecting the planet for future generations.
Several years ago, the EPA identified R-22 as an ozone-depleting substance. So, they established a plan to eliminate the substance from use.
It started with the first major step in 2010. The EPA implemented a ban on the production of R-22. Manufacturers could only produce enough refrigerant needed to service existing equipment. That way, homeowners that had recently purchased a new AC could still get service.
However, we are nearing the next step in the phaseout. Production of R-22 is not allowed as of January 2020. Also, suppliers cannot sell it. That means the only R-22 available will be recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies.
Why is my refrigerant re-charge service so expensive?
R-22 is already in limited supply, which causes prices to rise. But in January, supplies will be even lower. So, repairs requiring refrigerant are about to get very expensive. In fact, prices may change drastically! The cost of a simple R-22 recharge in 2019 will be very different in 2020.
Keep in mind that contractors like Advent Air purchase refrigerant from a third-party supplier. We expect prices to rise exponentially in January 2020. So if you see the quote for your R-22 system repair rise significantly, it is likely because the price for materials has also increased.
How the Freon phaseout affects Dallas homeowners
If your air conditioner uses R-22 Freon, it makes sense to think about making a change. The prices of R-22 will only rise after January 2020.
Unfortunately, you can’t remove the R-22 refrigerant and replace it with another kind of refrigerant. There would need to be changes and modifications to components in your system. This retrofit could be pricey depending on your equipment. Plus, systems that are more than ten years old may be nearing the end of their useful life. So modifying your system may be an expensive repair that will only last you a few years.
The simplest solution would be to replace your air conditioner. Newer systems contain R-410A, which is not an ozone-depleting substance. Plus, a newer system will be much more efficient than an R-22 system. So, not only will you save money on repairs; you’ll also save on energy bills.
Get advice from the experts at Advent Air
If you need a professional opinion, reach out to our team at Advent. One of our Comfort Advisers would be happy to come to your home and provide a consultation. We can help evaluate your existing R-22 system and provide options on replacement.