In case you have not heard, R-22 is on its way out.
R-22 is the refrigerant most commonly used in air conditioners installed up until 2010. R-22 contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs. Besides being hard to spell, it is thought to be bad for the environment. R-22 has a global warming potential of 1,810, which means that one pound of the substance can cause as much global warming as 1,810 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Because of this, the use of R-22 is being phased out. No new air conditioning systems built since 2010 can use it; instead, they utilize a newer refrigerant called R-410A. The amount of R-22 available for use in existing R-22-dependent air conditioners is now heavily regulated; less of the chemical can be sold each year, and by 2020 no new R-22 will be sold at all. Already, the reduction in supply is expected to triple R-22 prices this summer.
If you have an R-22-dependent air conditioner or heat pump that is more than 10 years old, it may be time to start thinking about replacing it. There are multiple reasons why getting rid of your old air conditioner might make sense:
- It can save you money on maintenance and repair costs. A new A/C system is less likely to break down than an old one. But even if it does, repairs on a new air conditioner are likely to be cheaper, because R-410A is now less expensive than R-22.
- It can save you on your electric bills. New air conditioners are much more energy-efficient than those installed several years ago, lowering your monthly bills and overall lifetime costs.
- It’s better for the environment. Using less R-22 and less electricity can have a positive environmental impact.
If your A/C or heat pump is only a few years old, there’s no need to panic. Chances are it won’t need R-22 refills any time soon or in any great quantity. However, if you have an older model that’s prone to needing repairs or refrigerant charging, then it’s definitely a good time to consider an upgrade.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about R-22-dependent air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Mathews CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating services Corpus Christi, TX. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!