R22, a refrigerant more commonly known as freon, has met its end here in the United States. Due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered manufacturers to cease all production of R22 beginning January 1, 2020. But will this R22 phase-out affect you?
The short answer is, not immediately. If you have an air conditioner that operates on R22, you do not need to replace it right now. However, if your unit has a slow leak that requires frequent R22 injections, then you may need to consider replacing your system, as R22 is going to become increasingly difficult to get in the near future, to the point where it is no longer available at all.
If you are facing an immediate replacement of your air conditioning unit, Ambient Edge can help you select the right air conditioning unit for your home and budget. Give us a call at (888) 240-8283.
The Purpose of Refrigerant
Refrigerant exists in heat pumps and air conditioners to change the temperature of the air in your home. Despite its name, it works to both cool and heat your home, depending on the change in your home’s temperature. It exists in both a liquid and a gas state, which is why it can affect the ozone layer as a gas, despite being in your air conditioning unit as a liquid.
How to Know if You Have R22 Coolant in Your Home
One of the surest ways to know if you have R22 coolant in your home is to check the information on the air conditioner’s label. Another way is to double-check when you had your system installed. If your air conditioner and/or heat pump was manufactured and installed before January 1, 2010, it is very likely that it operates on R22.
This is because the EPA, on January 1, 2010, implemented a ban on R22 that extended to the production and import from foreign countries of R22. However, those who continued to need service on their existing equipment could still use R22 to do so.
The difference here is that starting January 1, 2020, it is going to become increasingly difficult to get your hands on any R22 at all. So, if you know you’ll need a new system soon, installing one that uses R22 would be a very bad idea.
Right now, if you have a system that uses R22, you have three options. You can:
- “Repair” your system by priming it to use a new refrigerant
- Get ahead of the problem and replace your system outright
- Continue using your current setup until it dies, prompting you to replace it
We here at Ambient Edge recommend replacing your unit right now if it is more than 10 years old because you are going to inevitably need to replace it in the near future anyway. At Ambient Edge, we can assess the size of your home and help you find an air conditioning unit that will efficiently cool your home without working overtime to do so.
Evaporative Cooling Systems
If you do need to upgrade your cooling system, one of the benefits of doing so is that you can opt for an evaporative cooling system instead. These systems are more cost-efficient over the long term, which more than pays for their cost of installation. Evaporative cooling systems also put out a higher quality of air, which, because they also don’t use R22, makes them doubly beneficial for the environment.
With the January 2020 R22 phase-out deadline fast approaching, we want to make sure our customers are fully prepared and confident in their ability to make a decision about the future of their HVAC systems. If you feel you need assistance in this area, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Concerned About the Upcoming R22 Phase Out? Ambient Edge Can Help!
If you have an air conditioner or heat pump that uses R22, don’t panic. You don’t have to do anything right away solely based on the upcoming ban on January 1, 2020.
However, if your system is over 10 years old, then you are in the market for a replacement very soon. As such, you need a system that does not contain R22. Opting for a system that contains R22 can make life more difficult for you if your system ever experiences a leak. Because R22 will become much harder to come by very soon, it may become impossible to repair your system, and you will need to invest in a premature replacement.
Ambient Edge has decades of experience repairing and replacing HVAC systems. We are fully briefed on the upcoming R22 phase-out and the ways in which we can help our customers, past, present, and future. If you need help with your HVAC system, give us a call at (888) 240-8283, or fill out the contact form on our website. We can help you transition out of using R22 smoothly and efficiently, so call now!