Hydrochlorofluorocarbon, otherwise known as R-22 or, more commonly freon, is a refrigerant used in many air conditioners. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently ordered the phasing out of R-22 due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Specifically, R-22 contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer – something we have otherwise healed successfully as a nation.
As a result of this discovery, the EPA has ordered that R-22 will become illegal in the U.S. as of January 1, 2020. This means that manufacturers will no longer be permitted to make R-22, and foreign companies will be banned from importing R-22 into the United States.
How This Affects You, the Consumer
If you have an air conditioner that contains R-22, don’t panic. It does not automatically become illegal to own one of these machines as of January 1, 2020, nor will it become illegal for stores to sell them. However, R-22 will eventually run out here in the U.S., which means you will need to eventually replace machines you might otherwise have been able to keep running with additional R-22.
If you need to replace your cooling unit, Ambient Edge can help. Give us a call at (888) 240-8283, and we can schedule a consultation with you.
How to Know if You Have R-22 in Your Home
You may not know what kind of coolant is in your air conditioner, but it is relatively simple to find out. First, you can check the nameplate on your condenser. Also, if your unit is 10 years old or older, it is more likely that it contains R-22.
If your unit is from January 2010 or newer, then it may contain the new, safer refrigerant, Freon 410a. However, just because your unit is newer is no guarantee. If you’re not sure what kind of refrigerant your air conditioner contains, contact Ambient Edge, and we will send a licensed HVAC specialist to your home to evaluate your system.
How to Prepare for the Phase-Out
You don’t necessarily need to do anything right now in light of the upcoming phase-out. However, it is important to be prepared just the same. You may want to get a jump on things and replace your system now, rather than deal with problems down the road, and that’s fine. We strongly recommend taking this option if your system is older than 10 years old, or if it has a leak that requires the frequent replacement of coolant. If you’d like to know more about replacing your system, our qualified Ambient Edge techs can help.
If you’d rather not replace your system right now, then you have one of two options: you can retrofit your system to accept new refrigerant, or you can run it into the ground and worry about replacing it sometime in the future.
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Retrofitting Your System
If you’d like to retrofit your current system, Ambient Edge can help with that, too! For one thing, it saves you money now and in the future. You save money by not replacing the entire system right away, and you save money in the future because your repairs will be less expensive once you’ve switched over to a more modern refrigerant.
There are downsides to this, though – downsides you must weigh if you are seriously considering a retrofit. For instance, sometimes a retrofit bogs down your existing system, making it less efficient and driving your utility bills through the roof. You also risk voiding your manufacturer’s warranty, or, in some cases, you may not be able to do it at all.
The best way to know what your options are if you’re not sure is to reach out to a professional HVAC technician for more information.
Need to Replace or Upgrade Your Air Conditioner? Ambient Edge Can Help!
At Ambient Edge, we understand that not everyone can afford, or has the time for a complete overhaul of their air conditioning system. However, this R-22 phase-out will be here before you know it, and we want to help our customers feel prepared and ready. That’s why we strongly recommend you contact us if you need more help deciding whether a replacement or retrofit is right for you.
Ambient Edge has been dealing with all makes and models of air conditioners, and their refrigerants, for decades. And so our technicians are some of the best in the business because they have acquired years of experience necessary to evaluate your air conditioner, no matter the age of your system.
If you would like to upgrade or retrofit your air conditioning unit before the phase-out rolls out, then give our team a call at (888) 240-8283 or fill out the contact form on our website. You don’t want to feel left in the lurch when you need R-22 for your machine, and there’s none left in the country. Call us today, and let us help!