A major component of your air conditioner is becoming increasingly rare. It’s not a commodity like gold jewelry that you can turn into quick cash — it’s the R-22 refrigerant flowing through the coils in your A/C. You can’t cash it in, but if you keep hanging on to your old air-conditioner, the cash will be flowing from your pockets.
The phaseout of R-22 refrigerant
R-22 refrigerant is the most widely used refrigerant in the world, but it has a major issue. It is a chlorine-based chemical that could possibly damage the ozone and environment when it escapes into the atmosphere. Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that manufacturers reduce supplies of R-22 in favor of R-410a. Eventually, production of R-22 will be eliminated entirely. R-410a is not perfect, either, but it does not deplete the ozone layer. The trouble is, most older units will not operate with the new refrigerant. You may be aware of this if your A/C technician had to replace any of the old refrigerant in your system either last year or this year.
The choice: Pay now or pay later
Supplies of fresh R-22 refrigerant have dwindled from 50 million pounds last year to some 35 million pounds this year. As the EPA continues to mandate less production of R-22, costs will continue to climb. If your air conditioning unit needs a booster shot of refrigerant every year or two, the cost of R-22 will force you to dig deeper into your pocket. Alternatively, you could start shopping now for a unit that uses the newer refrigerant, operates more efficiently and is more environmentally friendly.
If you would like more information about the eventual elimination of R-22 refrigerant supplies, contact CCAC. We’re armed with all the latest information about refrigerants, new highly efficient cooling units and how investing now can save you money in the future.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about replacing your air conditioner and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock