The R-22 phaseout is well underway and if your cooling system uses it, it may be time to think about your options. When the U.S. signed the Montreal Protocol, it agreed to gradually eliminate this environmentally toxic refrigerant from use, production, and importation. As a consequence, each year the amount of R-22 that’s available will decline, until 2020, when no new R-22 can be manufactured.
The only supplies available will be recycled from existing equipment and it’ll be exceptionally expensive. If your air conditioner was manufactured before 2010, it may use R-22 and planning ahead may help you avoid having to recharge your system, whose cost is rising each year.
- Keep it maintained. Normally refrigerant doesn’t leak. Dirty coils can cause a leak and if you keep your system clean by routinely changing the filter and washing off the outdoor condensing coil, you might avoid needing a charge during the R-22 phaseout.
- Replace the system. Any cooling system 10 years or older won’t offer the efficiency a new system will that uses the replacement for R-22, which is R-410A. The new refrigerant undergoes more pressure, making it more efficient at removing the heat from your home. Given the hot, humid climate, a new, more efficient system will pay for itself in energy savings.
- Consider retrofits. Your HVAC contractor can check your system to learn if it might be compatible with other refrigerants instead of R-22. Some systems can accept less toxic refrigerants by making adjustments to them, which could save money over a complete A/C replacement.
- Use a dry-charged system. If the indoor air handler runs as it should and the outdoor condenser needs replacing, you might be able to use a condenser that’s compatible with your air handler. The R-22 will have to be installed at the completion of the condenser installation.
Feel free to contact the experts at CCAC who can advise you what your best choice might be during this R-22 phaseout. We’ve provided exceptional HVAC services for the Corpus Christi area since 1979.
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 A/Cs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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