r22 refrigerant replacementUpdated: 04/08/2020

When your old AC system starts acting up, you have one of two choices: you can repair your unit or you can replace it. Repairs tend to be the cheapest, fastest, and most convenient solution when cooling systems are still relatively new.

Older equipment, however, may be better off being replaced so that newer and more efficient units can be put in. This aspect is definitely the case for any air conditioning system that still uses R-22 coolant. The production and importation of this refrigerant is illegal. The deadline took place on January 1, 2020, causing those with R-22 units to face a tough decision should their unit require a major repair, especially a refrigerant leak.

Older HVAC equipment that relies on R-22 will eventually stop working altogether. These units tend to be older and are on their last leg. If the system has a refrigerant leak, then homeowners will be forced to choose between paying for a hefty repair or a replacement altogether. Diligent homeowners are making this upgrade rather than paying for the astronomical repair.

Those who are on the fence about such a replacement usually feel that way because they know that process can seem quite tricky. Does the entire HVAC system need to be swapped out? Will it be sufficient to simply pay for an AC retrofit?

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R-22 Replacement: Why R-22 Refrigerant Is Phased Out

To start, let’s go over some of the reasons why the R-22 coolant was phased out of both distribution and production. This refrigerant contains environmentally harmful compounds known as HCFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons. These are great refrigerants, but they do come with a catch: they are very detrimental to the natural environment. Research has shown that these ozone-depleting substances have made a significant contribution to the considerable damage that the ozone layer has already sustained. If this progressive damage doesn’t stop, we’ll become increasingly vulnerable to dangerous UV rays. The good news is that manufacturers and government bodies listened. New refrigerants, R-22 replacements, and other products that are free of HCFCs have been created as safer alternatives.

What The R-22 Ban Means For Homeowners In New York

air conditioner technicianIf your home HVAC system relies on the R-22 refrigerant and your air conditioner has a coolant leak, then you will have to make a decision. Air conditioners that develop refrigerant leaks, will need to have a refrigerant recharge. If your unit needs to have its refrigerant topped off, you are going to have to pay excessively high prices for R-22 due to limited availability.

Another important thing to note is that old, outdated AC units might continue to operate, but they will do so at a far lower level of overall efficiency. They tend to produce far more energy in their efforts to create the needed cooling benefits, thereby causing the monthly energy bills for the home to soar. The performance will continue to suffer progressively, right up until the air conditioner no longer can no longer cool the home at all.

In terms of financial consequences, the law that governs supply and demand is going to continue driving R-22 refrigerant prices up due to its limited availability. Owners who are determined to hang onto their old systems will probably get a recharge as needed. R-22 manufacturers, however, were not super keen on producing more of this coolant even before the ban finalized on January 1. 2020. These entities, instead, sold their remaining stocks and then moved on to produce new products. The future isn’t entirely bleak for people using R-22 in the home, however. Tax breaks and a variety of additional perks are there for those who are willing to replace their current AC systems with more eco-friendly and efficient models today. Call Hart Home Comfort today for more information.

R-22 Alternatives: The Creation Of R-410a And Other Options

Scientists have certainly answered the call by developing viable R-22 alternatives that are capable of producing similar or even more impressive results. They do not cause ozone damages or other environmental harm. These r22 replacements include R-410a coolant.

R-410a cylinders have a distinctive pink color that makes them very easy to identify. Honeywell researchers invented this product in 1991. Even though Honeywell is a leader in production, other companies have been licensed to produce this same refrigerant across the globe. R-410a doesn’t contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer and it’s readily available from many HVAC companies. R-421a is another alternative to R-22 that’s both eco-friendly and poised to be the preferred refrigerant going forward.

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Complete AC Upgrades Vs. AC Retrofits

air conditioner replacementEven after any applicable tax breaks have been applied, the cost of a full upgrade is hardly trivial. A lot of people are considering affordable ways to resolve this dilemma like AC retrofitting. Retrofitting an air conditioning system allows homeowners to retain their older units while using new and still lawful options in air conditioner refrigerant. After all, if the R-22 refrigerant is the only source of trouble, then it might be best to get rid of this coolant without having to sacrifice the entire cooling system. In practice, however, this doesn’t generally work well at all.

R-22 is designed to run at a significantly lower pressure than the current R-22 replacements. Old AC systems were created to work with this low pressure, and thus, many of these units won’t have the ability to stand up to the stress that a retrofit will invariably entail. Issues like coolant leaks in the condenser coil and in the condenser itself are likely to occur. Thereby, this option leaves you with the same problem that you had from the very outset.

Conversely, a total upgrade will ensure complete compatibility with the latest refrigerants to hit the market. People can anticipate having smooth and seamless operation throughout the lifetime of their new units, which will usually be a decade or more. When you do the math, you’ll see just how attractive this option is. Upgrading will limit the risk of expensive repairs moving forward. With an AC replacement, you can improve energy efficiency with the latest and most advanced HVAC technologies. You can use tax breaks and many other money-saving incentives to make the costs of this purchase far more manageable. Call the professional HVAC technicians at Hart Home Comfort today for more information.

When To Consider Replacing Both Your Heating And Your Cooling System At Once

You may want to think about replacing both the heating and the cooling system in your home. This option will save both energy and money. If you have an outdated heating system in your home, then this is the most sensible course to take. A new HVAC model is going to be better all-around when it comes to things like real-world performance and system specifications.

Another thing to think about is the fact that mixing a new system with an old one can result in decreased performance due to non-matching components. Product manufacturers can also refuse to honor any warranties when the HVAC systems in the home are incompatible. Try not to cut corners. Do the right thing to protect your investment.

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Call Hart Home Comfort For All Of Your HVAC Needs

Hart Home Comfort is a trusted provider of HVAC services. We offer affordable heating and cooling solutions for both commercial and residential building owners. We’re proud to provide superior services for your home heating and cooling needs, including HVAC installations, repairs, maintenance, and system tune-ups.

We stand above our competitors in every way by offering efficient installation, friendly service, and truly competitive pricing.

To find out more about the systems and services we provide, get in touch with Hart Home Comfort right now. We’ll set your appointment up so that you can connect with one of our highly trained technicians to receive a free, no-obligation consultation. Our technicians will happily answer your questions and concerns to help you find the best cooling solutions for your needs. We’ll give you thorough and easy-to-understand answers so that you can make informed decisions about the future of your home’s cooling system. Get in touch with us now!

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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!