Does Your Air Conditioner Use R-22? Here’s What To Consider

r22 refrigerantHot summer days become bearable thanks to the hard work of central air conditioning systems. They keep homes cool inside despite the scorching temperatures outside. Even these reliable appliances have their limits. Those that frequently break down and are over 15 years old may need more than just simple repair. In some cases, it might be better to replace them outright. Another consideration is the impending R-22 phase-out, imposed by the US federal government. Old A/C units will no longer be able to get new refrigerant after this takes effect.

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When Will The Total Ban On R-22 Commence In The US?

Every unit needs a refrigerant to circulate in the system to facilitate heat transfer. R22 used to be the industry standard because of its proven effectiveness in doing this job. Nevertheless, the substance was eventually cast aside when its negative ecological impact became known. Governments all over the world pressured the HVAC industry to look for an alternative while R-22 came under strict regulation. The date for this compound to be a banned substance is January 1, 2020. Once the new year begins, it will be illegal to import or make it in the US.

Can R22 Still Be Bought In New York Today?

There are a few months left before the imposition of a total ban. Owners of old air conditioners can avail of this refrigerant until the end of the year. However, the high prices may put off people from buying it for their air conditioning units. The demand is just so much higher than the supply at this point. Thus, the fundamental laws of economics are pushing the cost upwards. R-22 refrigerant price will only get worse as the ban approaches. According to estimates, homeowners may have to shell out $2,000 or more for a recharge. Factor in the decreasing efficiency of older systems and it becomes more attractive to upgrade to a brand new cooling system.

Do not hesitate to call Hart Home Comfort if you would like advice and a free quote for your cooling system.

From the start of the new year in 2020, no one will have access to R22 refrigerant. Existing units that require a recharge after 2019 will have nowhere to turn. The only option would be to replace the whole air conditioning unit. The good news is that you can enjoy the low costs of an air conditioner replacement this year.

The Environmental Reason Behind The Fall Of R-22

environmentally friendly refrigerantNothing is more important than the protection of the environment. After all, the Earth is our only planet, and any damage we make will come back to haunt us. Unfortunately, R-22 turned out to be a harmful substance that contributed to the destruction of the ozone layer.[1] This aspect is alarming because the ozone acts as a shield against ultraviolet radiation. Without it, the sun’s rays can become extremely dangerous to living beings.

Since R22 and other ozone-depleting substances [2] fell out of favor, the ozone layer has begun to heal, with the hole decreasing in size year after year. If you would also like to help the environment, then consider retiring your old HVAC system and getting a replacement that uses a more eco-friendly refrigerant such as Puron or R-410a.

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A Tale of Two Refrigerants: R22 And R410a Explained

What Are The Differences Between R-22 & R-410a?

R-22
R-410a

Refrigerant used before the phaseout took place.
A new environmentally friendly refrigerant by the brand named Puron and is used in modern air conditioning systems.

R-22 is not as energy efficient as it does not absorb and release heat as effectively.
More competent as it can absorb and release heat efficiently.

Less environmentally friendly.
More ecologically friendly.

Not used in newly-manufactured air conditioning systems.
R-410a is suitable for all air conditioners that are newly-manufactured.

Causes a reduction of the ozone layer.
No contribution to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Its use is phased out so R-22 refrigerant prices are astronomical.
Avoid the risk of overheating and breaking down due to tougher and durable air conditioner parts.

The reality is that every machine becomes less efficient over time. HVAC systems are no exception. Dirt will find its way through the openings and into the units. Pipes and containers will develop leaks. Air conditioners can maintain their capacity to cool down a home, but they will need more power to do so. At some point, homeowners may no longer feel their cooling effect at all. A higher bill will accompany the rise in power consumption. Sticking to an old unit will eventually become more expensive than installing a modern energy-efficient system.

The past two decades have seen numerous innovations in cooling technologies. Many of these have focused on improving energy efficiency for the benefit of the environment and the consumers. A direct comparison of models from 15-20 years ago to the most recent ones will reveal a massive jump in efficiency. They will only need to consume a small amount of power to cool a space. The technological superiority of new systems and the natural degradation of old units make replacement a financially viable option.

The High Cost Of R-22 Refrigerant Price In 2019

cost of r22If you are really keen on holding on to your existing A/C, then just be aware of the costs that you are likely to encounter. Currently, you should still be able to find a few sources for the R22 refrigerant, but the prices have been creeping up for the past few years. Given the impending ban at the end of the year, the r-22 refrigerant price increase has accelerated even more with current levels almost being out of reach for regular consumers.

The problem is that most old systems develop leaks that cause refrigerant to fall below acceptable levels. Cooling systems will not be able to work well unless an HVAC contractor fixes the issue and the refrigerant goes back up the threshold. Sooner or later, current owners will have to deal with these exorbitant prices. Things will get worse as we march to 2020. Supplies will get even more scarce, and demand will intensify.

The Price Of Getting A New Central A/C With Tax Credits And Other Savings

Governments all over the world are leading the charge in getting rid of ecologically dangerous substances like R22. As part of the US government’s campaign, upgrades are encouraged through perks like tax breaks and rebates. This aspect should help offset the cost of investing in a new air conditioner for your home. You can find more information through the ACCA or Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

The tax breaks and rebates are often dependent on the number called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). As the SEER of a unit goes up, the incentives also go higher. Aside from these, having a high-efficiency air conditioner will naturally mean lower energy consumption and thus less monthly payments for the utility companies.

When buying cars, we are conscious of the estimated number of miles that they can go per gallon. SEER functions much the same way: it indicates just how much cooling an A/C can provide per unit energy. For instance, it is better to get a model with 27 SEER than one with a 15 SEER rating. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.[3]

If you would like to know more details about the tax breaks in your region, then give Hart Home Comfort a call. We will be more than happy to share pertinent information so that you can make the best decision. Call us at (631) 667-3200 today!

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Conclusion

Hart Home Comfort is a trusted name when it comes to heating and cooling. Our clients span both commercial and residential properties. We can provide high-quality HVAC installations, repairs, maintenance, and tune-ups whenever needed. All these are available at reasonable rates. Our experienced team will extend professional service that you can count on every single time. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. You can always avail of a free consultation with our HVAC experts. Call us today!

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For any questions about what Hart Home Comfort can do for you, give us a call today. Click here to contact us now or call us at (631) 667-3200 to find out more!
 
[1] Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) (https://www.epa.gov/ods-phaseout)
[2] Ozone depletion, explained (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/ozone-depletion/)
[3] US Department of Energy (https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/central-air-conditioning)