Air Conditioning Systems to Face R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout
In the Arizona heat, your air conditioning system works around the clock to provide your space with cool air that is essential in keeping you comfortable, whether at home or work.
What you may not realize is that while your system operates, the refrigerant used to produce cool air may be having detrimental effects on the environment.
The commonly used R-22 freon refrigerant (also known as HCFC-22) has been established as an “ozone depleting” substance which may contribute to global warming1. In agreement with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone, the U.S. has planned a gradual phaseout of the production of R-22 refrigerants over the years, which will end in 2020 when its production is set to stop completely2.
Does your system use R-22?
If it were manufactured prior to 2010, there is a good chance that it does. In January of 2010, the EPA stopped production of systems that use it, leaving newly manufactured AC systems to use less detrimental substitutes such as R-410A.
So what exactly does this mean for those of you who have systems that use R-22? It is essential to understand that this phaseout simply applies to production and not its use. If your home or place of business has a system that uses this refrigerant, your AC repair company will still have access to it in order to service and recharge your system for many years into the future. You should note, though, that as the supply dwindles, the price of R-22 may increase as a result.
High Efficiency Air Conditioners
Over the next eight years as supply does decrease, you may choose to have your system retrofitted for use with R-410A refrigerants, or you may decide that it is a good time to replace your system with a new one. Trane has a number of high efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps which are capable of providing reduced utility expenses and may even come with worthwhile rebates and tax incentives.
Before making any decisions, it is a good idea to determine if this phaseout applies to your existing system. You may check your owner’s manual or inspect the nameplate on the outside of your outdoor condensing unit to see if it says the refrigerant type that is compatible with your system.
Still aren’t sure? Call Mason Mechanical today to inquire about your system type, or to ask about our new system installation services!