Be Prepared: R22 Refrigerant Phase-Out
You may have heard the news that R22 refrigerant, the compound used to aid cooling in the vast majority of air conditioning units manufactured up until 2010, is being phased out.
The process of phasing out R22 refrigerant is set to complete in 2020, at which time you will no longer be able to purchase the product in the usual way.
R22 refrigerant is being phased out due to the harmful impact the compound has on the ozone layer, air quality, and the environment. Unfortunately, that means many homeowners and businesses that are using older air conditioning systems will need to take steps to bring those systems up to date. The alternative is paying an ever-increasing price for dwindling supplies of R22 refrigerant that has been recycled from decommissioned air conditioning units.
R22 Phase-Out Facts
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are harmful to the atmosphere and contribute significantly to the warming of the planet. As part of The United States Clean Air Act and in conjunction with the Montreal Protocol, the phase-out of R22 refrigerant is one of many steps designed to combat climate change. A sharp rise in the cost of R22 refrigerant also means it is financially unviable for customers to continue replacing in their air conditioning units.
It is more than likely that if your air conditioning unit was installed prior to 2011 it is using R22 refrigerant. The nameplate on the air conditioning unit provides details regarding the type of refrigerant the system uses if you would like to confirm before considering replacement. The only way to purchase R22 refrigerant after the phase-out is complete will be by what is known as “environmental reclamation,” which is an even more expensive option than replacing the unit.
Change Refrigerant or Replace the AC Unit?
Newer air conditioning systems use hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants that are much friendlier to our atmosphere. When it comes to Global Warming Potential (GWP), HFCs do not have anywhere near the same impact as HCFCs and are just as efficient as R22 refrigerant. There are a number of other refrigerants in use in modern AC units, including; R407A, R407C, R410A, and R134A.
If you wish to hold out with your current air conditioning system, using R22, there is no obligation to upgrade. However, you should book an inspection with Mason Mechanical to make sure the system is working at maximum efficiency. Alternatively, you can purchase what is known as “drop-in” refrigerants to replace R22, but you will lose efficiency and pay the price over the long term.
New Air Conditioning Unit Install
Although there is an obvious up-front cost for installing a new air conditioning unit, you will get better performance as well as a system that is better for the environment. Over time, newer and more efficient AC units offset the initial installation costs and will add value to your home, if you are thinking of selling up. It is important to add that attempting to simply use newer refrigerants in your current R22 air conditioning unit won’t work. In fact, the system may stop running altogether, and you will end up paying a lot more money, in the long run, than you would upgrade your existing air conditioner.
At Mason Mechanical, we are available to provide tailored advice to customers who are unsure which route to take when it comes to the R22 phase-out. We can inspect your air conditioning unit and guide you according to the most financially beneficial options for your home or business. If installing a new HVAC system is the best, most suitable plan of action, our team will help you choose the right unit and take care of installation.
The improper disposal of R22 refrigerant is a breach of The United States Clean Air Act. That means you cannot simply toss an old air conditioning unit out with the trash. Mason Mechanical is a certified contractor and can take care of all your HVAC replacement needs in Arizona. If you are considering updating your air conditioning to a system that is environmentally friendly and provides savings on energy costs, Mason Mechanical is here to help.
Mason Mechanical AC Services
At Mason Mechanical, our team provides a range of services to suit all your heating and cooling needs across the valley. A team of highly trained technicians is on hand to install new air conditioning units or provide maintenance and repair services for your current system. Keeping your AC working at optimal levels is essential in the Arizona heat, so make sure to reach out to Mason Mechanical so you and your family will continue to stay cool all year round.
To learn more about the R22 refrigerant phase-out fill out our online ask-a-tech form or to book a call-out from one of our technicians, call Mason Mechanical at (602) 680-5086 today. We are your partners in preparing your home or business for a greener, more energy efficient future.