The R22 phase-out may have a major impact on your indoor comfort during hot summer weather. R22 was a long-standing refrigerant once standard in air conditioners. However, when R22 was discovered to be depleting the Earth’s ozone layer, the chemical was scheduled to be phased out over a period of years.
The Deadline Has Passed
The final date for total R22 phase-out occurred on January 1, 2020. If your air conditioner utilizes R22, you can continue using that unit for as long as it’s fully functional. The crunch occurs if/when it needs service or repair that requires removing the refrigerant charge (many A/C repairs do.) The only option your HVAC contractor might be able to offer is scarce reclaimed R22, available only at a very high cost. For that reason, most repairs to older air conditioners will likely no longer be financially viable.
To ensure continued cool comfort at affordable costs, the best option is upgrading to a new A/C that utilizes R410A refrigerant, the EPA-certified replacement for R22. Other benefits you can reap from making that step now include:
- R410A supports higher energy efficiency than a standard R22 unit. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) for new standard A/C units that utilize R410A is 14.5, versus 13 for a standard R22 unit. In addition, high-efficiency R410A units can deliver SEER performance up to 20 or higher.
- Heat-absorbing and releasing properties of R410A are superior to R22. The A/C unit incurs reduced wear and tear, runs cooler, and critical components such as the A/C compressor have a longer service life.
- R410A operates under higher pressure, which means it creates cooler temperatures faster than low-pressure R22 units. Faster response means more accurate temperature control in the house and lower costs.
- If you decide to sell your home, the fact that you’ve already upgraded to an R410A unit is attractive to buyers who don’t want to be stuck with the cost of replacing an aging, obsolete R22 unit in the future.
For more information, contact the HVAC professionals at Jackson and Sons.