As of January 1 of this year, in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), newly manufactured air conditioners may not use R-22 refrigerant. R-22 is considered an ozone-harming HCFC and is being phased out over the next decade.
In its place are eco-friendly refrigerants, most notably R-410A, which is being used in most new a/c units manufactured today. But homeowners with an air conditioner that utilizes R-22 should not panic. R-22 will be produced until 2020, giving them adequate time to replace their old air conditioner.
Of course, as R-22 is phased out, its price will continue to rise. The price of R-22 has already risen and is expected to continue its ascent as the phase out moves forward.
As far as getting R-22 after companies are no longer permitted to produce it, the EPA notes, “[a]fter 2020, the servicing of R-22-based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerants.”
When faced with the repair or replace question, the phase out of R-22 is now a major factor that homeowners should consider. The limited availability of R-22 as the phase out progresses could tip the scale in favor of replacement.
All Year Cooling has all of the information you need about the R-22 phase out. Give us a call and one of our air conditioning experts will answer your questions and help you decide if a replacement is in order.