Air conditioners and heat pumps utilize refrigerant to cool your Cincinnati home – this is what most call “Freon,” also known as R-22. Certain system issues can cause R-22 to leak out of the refrigerant lines, requiring a recharge.
In the past few years, the cost of recharging an HVAC system with R-22 refrigerant has increased, leaving homeowners wondering why? The cause behind the cost is the current phase-out of R-22 refrigerant.
R-22 Phase-out Basics
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Montreal Protocol calls for the phase-out of R-22 refrigerant, due to its link to ozone depletion. The phase-out began in 2010, stipulating all new heating and cooling systems cannot contain R-22. Since 2010, R-22 can only be produced to service existing systems. Production has gradually been phased out, and in 2020, no new R-22 will be produced; only recycled R-22 will be available.
What Does the Refrigerant Phase-out Mean for Me?
With limited R-22 in production, the product is becoming scarcer, driving up its price. The cost of recharging a cooling system with R-22 will continue to become more expensive, leaving homeowners with a few options:
- Repairing your R-22 system: Refrigerant isn’t used up in the way gas is – in a sealed system, it should never need replacing. When refrigerant leaks occur, the need for replacement R-22 arises. Having your older R-22 containing air conditioner or heat pump repaired properly should conserve refrigerant, avoiding the need for frequent recharging.
- Replace your R-22 system: If your system is older, it may be cost-effective to replace it now with a new unit which utilizes R-410A, which is a more environmentally-friendly refrigerant. A new unit will provide higher efficiency, and eliminate your need for an R-22 recharge.
Eliminate the cost of expensive Freon recharging by upgrading to a new air conditioner or heat pump which utilizes environmentally-friendly R-410A refrigerant. A new unit is more efficient, cutting your operating costs as well. For more information, contact Nelson Comfort today!