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How to Manage the R22 Refrigerant Phase Out

R22 refrigerants, (often used in air-conditioning equipment) are close to being extinguished. By 2020, R22 will no longer be in production. And its no surprise why; they produce harm to the ozone layer. If you’ve got these refrigerants operating in your home or business, you may be puzzled with unanswered questions. How do I replace my unit? What are the costs involved with my HVAC repairs? What are the deadlines to these replacements? Well, here at AirBenders, we’ve got your questions covered.

What is an R22 refrigerant?

If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, and you have no idea what an R22 refrigerant is, you’d better get learning. The majority of air conditioners (aged 10 years or more) typically use an R22 AC refrigerant. Since its production in the mid 20th century, the world suddenly came to the realization that R22 refrigerants are an ozone depleting substance (ODS). To put it simply, these refrigerants are no longer good for use.

How to manage the R22 refrigerant phase out?

For any homeowner or business owner there are a few options available. 

Option 1: Do nothing and wait for a breakdown (before 2020)

Considering that the R22 refrigerant production will come to a stop in January 2020, you have the option of waiting until your system or units break down before you invest in a new one. If a unit breaks prior to 2020, you’ll need to think about whether you want to invest in repairs or replace your system with a more modern AC system.

Remember, if you do decide to opt in for an emergency repair, there will most likely be other people in the same boat. R22 replacement units will become few and far between nearing to 2020 so sourcing an installer that has these replacement units readily available will be difficult. You could end up being without an AC for quite some time.

Option 2: Do nothing and wait for a breakdown (after 2020)

By this time, R22 production will be illegal. That also means there will be soaring prices in refrigerants. Therefore, think carefully before you wait until there’s a breakdown after 2020.

Option 3: Retrofit your R22 refrigeration system

In some cases, you may be able to keep using your older system but invest in a retrofit. This won’t always work for all systems, so you’ll need to arrange an inspection of your system to determine eligibility.

However, you should also note that some manufacturers advise that using modern refrigerants in older AC systems may result in poorer performance and ultimately higher energy costs. Therefore, seeking professional guidance on the different refrigerants compatible with your system is highly recommended.

Option 4: Replace

Although this may be a costly option, (particularly for those of you who have multiple systems to replace) it will prove to be the most cost-effective solution in the long term. A replacement means you would benefit from having the most up to date equipment with lowest running costs.

At AirBenders we understand that the R22 phase out is likely to cause some nuisance and unforeseen expense for system owners. So if you have an enquiry about the R22 phase out or about replacing your R22 system, call us on 703-793-9090- we’d be happy to help

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