PRODUCT ALERT: R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout and What It Means for You
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the use of R-22 refrigerant (virgin hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22) in new air conditioning and heat pump equipment since 2010. As a result, if your air conditioner was manufactured prior to 2010 this may be the time to replace it.
What is the R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout?
Many other countries are also banning HCFCs in a global effort to phase out products with high ozone depletion potential (ODP) and global warming potential (GWP).
Since R-22 (chlorodifluoromethane) is a type of HCFC (known by the brand name “Freon®”), it is being gradually phased out until January 1, 2020, after which no new production or import of HCFC-22 will be allowed (although recycled R-22 will still be legal to use).
If your AC unit was manufactured prior to 2010, then it most likely uses R-22. You can see if your air conditioner or heat pump uses R-22 by checking the owner’s manual or the nameplate on your outdoor condenser.
This is important to know since periodic maintenance of your cooling unit(s) may require additional refrigerant to operate at peak efficiency.
Unfortunately, as the supply and availability of R-22 declines, prices will go up. In fact, the prices for R-22 have already increased 300% over the past few years. And the price increase will only continue as the industry moves closer to the 2020 date when it will be illegal to use and produce.
“In fact, the prices for R-22 have already increased 300 percent over the past few years,” Gold Medal Service co-founder Mike Agugliaro notes.
What Are My Options?
1. Accept Higher Costs
You can keep your existing air conditioning/heat pump equipment and accept the fact that as we move closer to 2020, it will become increasingly difficult to find R-22 refrigerant in the marketplace and will be priced accordingly from suppliers.
Fact: R-22 (HCFC-22) is a banned import and manufacturers may no longer produce it. The prices for servicing and recharging R-22 refrigerant will continue to rise.
2. Upgrade to EPA-Approved Refrigerant
You can keep your existing AC equipment and use an EPA-permitted “modern” refrigerant in place of R-22. R-410A (also known by the brand name Puron®) is the most common EPA-approved substitute for residential air conditioning and heat pump units.
But substituting R-22 may require replacing many parts of your equipment since not all refrigerants are the same. Additionally, using a different refrigerant than what was originally designed for your system may result in poorer performance and higher energy costs.
Most HVAC experts will recommend a complete system replacement instead of a retrofit of an old system.
3. Install New Energy-Efficient A/C System
You can choose to replace your old AC or heat pump equipment with a new, high-efficiency unit that does not use R-22, but instead uses other refrigerants that are less harmful to the environment and that are permitted by the EPA. These units will give you many years of dependable service and lower-cost cooling.
Older units can be retrofitted to accommodate an alternative refrigerant, however, most of the time buying a new system will result in higher savings and comfort.
- R-22 (aka Freon®) is getting more expensive and harder to acquire (production will cease in 2020).
- Replacing the refrigerant on a unit designed for R-22 can cause declines in comfort, performance, and efficiency. You will either need to retrofit or replace your AC system.
- Learn more about what the R-22 Phaseout means for homeowners.
This may be the ideal time to replace your AC or heat pump equipment!
We hope the R-22 phaseout will encourage homeowners to replace their existing R-22 systems with more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly R-410a (Puron®) systems. These newer units will save you money in the long run by reducing energy bills and repair costs.
NEW HVAC System
Dave Lennox Signature® Collection products represent the very finest in home heating, cooling and indoor air quality:
- Up to 25 SEER performance
- Rebates up to $2,300
- Discounts for Seniors, Veterans and Disabled
- HVAC System Financing Plans include $ 0 Down and up to 60 months 0% interest
Gold Medal Service is a Dave Lennox Award recipient, exclusive to the top 25 Lennox Premier Dealers throughout the Unites States and Canada. For more information, call 800-576-GOLD or schedule service online.
Trust Gold Medal Service to help you to make the right decision about your air conditioning equipment. But remember, the longer you wait to replace your equipment the more costly it will be. And with the rebates and incentives that we are currently offering there might not be a better time to replace your air conditioner than right now!
Call us today and we will be happy to send one of our experienced Comfort Advisors to your home for a FREE, no obligation consultation. Then you’ll be ready to make this most-important decision for you and your family.
We are committed to making sure you are 100% satisfied with our people, our products, and our service. If you have any questions about EPA’s R-22 Phaseout or still need some questions answered, please contact us at 1-800-553-6060.
Photo Source: PR Newswire
Gold Medal Service was founded in 1994 by two Jersey boys. Their goal to provide homeowners with a reliable and trustworthy home services has led to massive growth. Since 1994, Gold Medal has grown to include more than 200 employees and experts solving plumbing, heating, cooling, electric, drain, sewer and waterproofing issues for homeowners across the state of New Jersey.