For homeowners who have central heating and air conditioning, if your system was installed prior to 2010 then you may need to familiarize yourself with R22. R22 is a chemical refrigerant that keeps the air generated by your AC system cool. It is also commonly referred to as freon or HCFC-22, and was first introduced in the early 1950s. Soon after, it became the leading most refrigerant used in the HVAC industry. However, R22 is now recognized as one of the worst refrigerants on the market because it contributes to the poor state of the Earth’s ozone layer, and as a result- R22 freon supplies are depleting.
With that said, the team here at South Nashville Heating & Cooling want to take this time to familiarize our clients with some important facts about depleting R22 freon supplies. Phase out stages of R22 had previously begun as early as 2003, with the import and overall production of R22 being entirely prohibited currently, in 2020. HVAC systems running equipment on R22 today, are still able to be serviced legally- as long as a supply of the ‘recycled’ refrigerant remains available. The refrigerant, however, can only be purchased today by an EPA certified technician.
EFFECT ON PRICES AND YOU
Since the import and production of R22 gas have been eliminated, AC systems requiring repairs or experiencing leaks will still need to be serviced. But with the demand for the product, and the reduced supply available, prices are certainly on the rise. When repairs are needed on systems operating with R22, heating and air conditioning companies are forced to charge homeowners higher prices to cover the overhead affiliated with the purchase of the R22.
Because of the decline in supply, the cost of R22 is desperately increasing with only old supplies currently available, and no new supplies going forward- except for recycled purchases. As a result of the prohibition of the R22 refrigerant, HVAC companies are recommending that homeowners upgrade their systems since the increased costs for maintenance of AC systems with R22 will become dramatic.
DOES MY AC SYSTEM USE R22?
If the AC system in your home was built prior to 2010, more than likely your system uses R22. To confirm whether or not your AC system runs on R22, you can simply look at the nameplate on the unit, typically located on the condenser unit outside, or it will be included in your owner’s manual. For our valued clients who utilize our quality services, the team here at South Nashville Heating & Cooling will have your information in our files.
STEPS TO TAKE IF YOUR SYSTEM USES R22
If you discover that your AC system utilizes R22, you have a couple of options to choose from.
- First and foremost, you can invest in a new upgraded system that is environmentally safe and friendly, utilizing R410a, especially if your current system is greater than 10 years old.
- Secondly, you can reach out to our expert team and have the parts in your existing system replaced to provide compatibility with those refrigerants that are safe and approved. This can surely be an expensive choice, and not highly recommended.
- Finally, you can simply continue to use your system with the recycled R22, although this can become quite costly. The regulations put in place by the EPA do not require homeowners to go out and purchase a new system. So, if you choose, you can continue to use your system until a time when it no longer functions, and then purchase your upgrade when needed.
THE PROFESSIONALS YOU CAN TRUST
As a result of the prohibition of the production of R22 and the fact that the R22 freon supplies are depleting quickly, homeowners may very well be thinking about investing in a replacement system before the cost of maintenance and recycled R22 itself becomes astronomical. Our team of dedicated HVAC specialists stands ready to meet all your cooling and heating needs. For more information about R22 and its costs, reach out to the experts here at South Nashville Heating & Cooling today. We look forward to serving you season after season, year after year!