If your air conditioner uses R22 Freon, what will this mean for you?
Air conditioners require refrigerant or Freon to function. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) such as R22 (also known as HCFC-22) are widely used to cool homes and offices. If your AC is slightly over a decade old, it may use R22 as its freon. Today, however, R22 is forbidden in the US. You might be concerned if your AC system uses R22 refrigerant.
How does R22 Freon work?
HCFC-22 refrigerant R22 is commonly used to cool air in air conditioning systems. In the heat cycle, refrigerants undergo phase changes between gas and liquid to cool air. There are many refrigerant options available out there. R22 is just one of many. An AC won’t be able to cool your home if it doesn’t have refrigerant. The refrigerant may also be responsible for heating the air in areas with heat pump systems. There has been a ban on R22 refrigerant in the US for over a decade. Its use in air conditioners has been a crucial component for many years.
R22 Refrigerant: Why is it banned?
It was recently announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would ban R22 freon in the United States. Using R22 contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer – which absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun, protecting us from its harmful effects – and the ecological environment by contributing to its shortage. As a result of leaks of R22, the environment can get damaged by ozone depletion, which harms the environment.
A decision by the United States to stop selling new air conditioners that use a refrigerant called R22 went into effect in 2010. It means that any new air conditioner manufactured in the United States after this time will not use R22.
A phaseout of R22 in 2020 means that it will become illegal for manufacturers and importers to manufacture or import R22 into the country at that time. Existing HVAC systems using R22 can still get serviced using recovered, recycled, or reclaimed refrigerants. Air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured before 1991 will not be able to be serviced with new R22 refrigerants.
If Your AC Unit Is Using R22 Freon, What Does That Mean?
There is no reason why you, as the owner of your system, need to replace your R22 AC unit now. However, you may need R22 refrigerant in the future. Moreover, old R22 stock will soon run out and will only be available in stock once. As a result, prices will rise, and your HVAC technician may be unable to find any that match your needs.
What is the best way to know whether my air conditioning system uses R22 freon?
It’s essential to see if your air conditioner uses R22 if it’s more than ten years old. Even if it’s new, it’s necessary to know what refrigerant you are using:
- Make sure you read the owner’s manual: You can verify whether or not your older air conditioner is using R22 by checking its operation manual.
- You will find the following information on the equipment nameplate: Make sure your HVAC system’s indoor coil or outdoor condenser has a nameplate on the case showing the system’s specs and the refrigerant it uses. An indoor coil nameplate.Nameplate for AC condenser.
- Get in touch with a professional: A&T Heating and Air Conditioning can help you understand the R22 ban and how it affects your AC by providing expert advice and assistance. Our certified technicians can give you the support and service you need.
In the case of an old air conditioner with R22 Freon, what are my options?
If your R22 air conditioner leaks Freon, you have two options:
- Replace your air conditioner.
- Replace the R22 with a new one and repair the leak.
Fixing your older unit could be very costly, depending on where the leak is. Due to the freon ban, R22 becomes extremely expensive, and your system could also have multiple leaks. A new unit could be more energy efficient and qualify for federal tax credits. However, you can choose either of these two alternatives. That makes it sensible to seek professional assistance in such a situation. If you are looking for a solution to your HVAC problems, contact A&T Heating and Air Conditioning. You can schedule an appointment online today.