Florida homeowners with older air conditioners may soon be facing a difficult choice: replace their cooling systems or continue to pursue increasingly costly and hard-to-find R22 refrigerant when their ACs need a tune-up. Standards for types of refrigerants used in air conditioning system maintenance are changing, and this means that this most common and least expensive refrigerant will soon be phased out. When the phase-out is complete in 2020, R22 refrigerant will no longer be available.
R22 refrigerant, sometimes known as R22 Freon or HCFC-22 Freon, is an environmental danger because it contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer. The U.S. government has placed restrictions on R22 and has issued the requirement that R22 refrigerant must be eliminated from use in cooling systems by the year 2020. At this point, R22 will no longer be manufactured and cannot be used as a refrigerant in new air conditioning systems. R22 is being replaced by R-410A, a safer material which is the current, compliant standard refrigerant in air conditioning equipment.
The refrigerant change means several things for homeowners with older ACs:
- You can continue to use R22 refrigerant in existing systems, but it will only be available through after-market sales, such as when it is recovered from older systems that have been salvaged.
- Prices of R22 refrigerant have been rising and are expected to continue to rise. By the time the phase-out is complete, R22 will most likely be very expensive.
- Availability of R22 will be limited since it cannot be purchased new. Even if you need a recharge of R22 in the future, there can be no guarantee that the refrigerant will be available.
- Complete AC system replacement to an R422 model may be the most cost-effective solution.
Conditioned Air has the mission of keeping the residents of Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Naples, Bradenton, and the surrounding Florida communities cool and their air conditioners working properly and reliably. Contact us today for more information on the types of refrigerants used in air conditioning system maintenance and what the new refrigerant changes will mean for your cooling system.