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Refrigerant 101: Everything You Need to Know About the R-22 Phase Out

If you have an older air conditioner, it may run on R-22 refrigerant, also known as HCFC-22 or R22 Freon. Though this product was long used as the standard for charging air conditioners, it is now being phased out, which may cause some costly complications for Wellington, Florida, homeowners. Learn more about why R-22 is going away and how this might impact your home’s AC.

The Problem with R-22

R-22 contains chlorine and is hazardous to the environment. It’s known to contribute to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer. R-410A refrigerant is a chlorine-free alternative that’s used in newer air conditioning systems.

Eliminating R-22 From AC Systems

The United States government has instituted a phase-out of R-22 refrigerant, which will eliminate it from all new AC systems by 2020. As of 2020, manufacturers can no longer produce R-22 refrigerant, so its availability will quickly dwindle.

What This Means for Homeowners

If your air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant, it will become increasingly difficult to keep it charged. If you need new refrigerant in 2020 and beyond, you will need to purchase from the stores of R-22 that have already been manufactured or buy reclaimed refrigerant that was obtained from another unit going out of service.

As supply decreases, the price of R-22 will go up. This leaves homeowners with an important decision: continue to pay the higher price for R-22 or upgrade to a newer AC system. Upgrading early will save the expense and hassle of trying to locate R-22. However, some homeowners may want to stick with their existing systems as long as possible to get more wear from these air conditioners.

Understanding the R-22 refrigerant situation can help you make an informed choice about your own cooling needs if you’re using a system that’s impacted by this change. If you’re interested in exploring your options for purchasing a new AC unit, we can help. Call Stephen K. Denny, Inc. at (561) 250-7415.

Image provided by Bigstock

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