Howe the R22 Refrigerant Change Will Affect You

Posted in Maintenance Tips

On January 1, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented a ban on the production and import of R22 (a common refrigerant used in air conditioning), except for continuing service needs of existing equipment. R22 contains chlorine, which is known to damage the ozone layer.

On January 1, 2020, production of all R22 refrigerant will be banned. The ban doesn’t require you to replace a functioning air conditioner or heat pump. However, it does mean that if your AC or heat pump system needs a repair that involves R22 refrigerant, you can expect prices to rise because of the rules of supply and demand. As less R22 is available, it will become more expensive until more consumers replace their appliances and equipment.

To remain compliant with the R22 phase out, manufactures have redesigned and overhauled their systems to accommodate R410A, a chlorine-free more environmentally friendly refrigerant. If your AC or heat pump was built and installed before January 1, 2010, chances are it uses R22 refrigerant.

Taking care of your home or business when it comes to the R22 ban might seem complicated. Luckily, the professionals at Howe have all the information you need to make the best decision for your future air conditioning needs. Count on us to help you understand your appliances, the new regulations and laws, and how they affect your home or business. With our help, you will be able to create a plan that will meet your needs for years to come.

We recently sat down with one of our service technicians, Derek Cecil, to give us a better insight into the changes ahead.

How can I tell if my HVAC unit has R22 Refrigerant?

The outdoor unit should have a data tag on it. The type of refrigerant used in your system will be listed on this tag.

What changes need to be made right now to my HVAC unit?

None. If your system is in good condition and maintained properly, you will likely get many more years out of it.

Most service calls that we go on are electrical problems and don't require us to add refrigerant.

What is going to be the most cost-effective option for me?

If there is a problem on the refrigerant side, such as a bad compressor or leaks, it doesn't automatically mean that you need to replace your system.

It depends on the situation, but it will usually be more cost effective to repair your existing unit. R22 prices have stabilized in the last couple of years and won't necessarily skyrocket any time soon.

If your unit has a history of leaks, it may be best to consider replacement, but a one-time leak is usually worth repairing.

If paying for a new system is a concern, Howe, Inc. offers affordable financing options with low monthly payments. If you qualify, financing may help you fit the purchase of a new AC system into your budget without breaking the bank.

Contact us today to schedule AC service, or if you have any additional questions about the R22 refrigerant ban.

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