A common and necessary component of your air conditioner or heat pump is skyrocketing in price, and is expected to continue increasing until it’s no longer available in the year 2020.
R22 Freon, an industry-standard refrigerant used in the majority of home cooling systems in America, is being gradually phased out due to new government regulations on environmental quality and ozone depletion. The Clean Air Act, which is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, requires that R22 Freon (also known as HCFC-22 Freon) must be removed from common use by the year 2020. It must be replaced by R422 Freon, a refrigerant that is more supportive of the environment and does not harm the ozone layer.
As of 2020, R22 Freon will no longer be manufactured.
Prices of R22 Freon have begun to rise in response to these regulations. For the next eight years, it will become more and more expensive to service existing air conditioners that need a coolant charge to function properly.
For many homeowners, the R22 phase-out presents an even more expensive possibility. Existing air conditioners using R22 Freon do not work with the new R422 type. There is currently no known equipment change or replacement that will enable R422 Freon to work in older cooling systems. For this reason, up to 80 percent of the air conditioners and heat pumps that use R22 Freon will have to be replaced.
With new air conditioning systems costing thousands of dollars, this could be a considerable hardship for some homeowners. In some cases, however, this could serve as an opportunity to upgrade to a high-efficiency home cooling system that offers excellent performance and significant savings on monthly cooling bills. A unit replaced now could nearly pay for itself with those savings by the year 2020.
For more than 35 years, Russell’s Heating & Cooling has served commercial and residential HVAC customers in Hampton Roads and surrounding areas, including the Peninsula and Southside. Contact us today for all your home-comfort needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about using R22 freon and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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