The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated the complete phase-out of Class II Ozone-Depleting Substances, including R-22 refrigerant commonly found in most residential HVAC systems. Production and importation of R-22 will be halted on Jan. 1, 2020. Since the initial phase-out, most HVAC companies have seen a significant price increase on their supplies of R-22 by as much as 500%.
What does this mean for home and business owners?
What Are Refrigerants?
Refrigerants are essential to the smooth operation of all residential air conditioner units. These substances operate within the coils of your air conditioner unit, where they absorb the heat from inside your home or business and exhaust it to the outdoors.
Why Was R-22 Phased Out?
What Is The Replacement For R-22?
Manufacturers have shifted production of AC units from the R-22 units to use the EPA-recognized refrigerant R-410A as a replacement for R-22. R-410A is a safer compound and does not contribute to ozone depletion.
Current R-22 air conditioning system owners should expect a significant rise in their repair costs as there’s been a drastic cut in the production of R-22 since 2015. Moreover, if your R-22 air conditioning unit were to fail, a replacement unit would not be an R-22 unit as the production of these air conditioning units were halted in 2010.
How Can I Tell If My System Uses R-22?
This varies by manufacturer, but most often, this information is on the nameplate located on the side of your air conditioning system’s outdoor condenser. If not, you may be able to find it in the fine print on the manufacturer’s data plate on the condenser or air handler, or in an owner’s manual. As a general rule of thumb, if your air conditioner is 10+ years old, chances are it uses R-22.
Can An R-22 System Be Converted To R-410A?
No. The use of R-410A in any unit that it is not specifically designed for can damage the air conditioning unit or cause it to malfunction. A full system replacement is necessary to transition to R-410A eventually.
Also, we feel the need to stress; you cannot use R-410A in an R-22 unit. The two compounds are entirely incompatible and will result in severe damage to your air conditioning unit and potentially your property.
How Does the R-22 Phase-Out Affect Me?
If you have a system that currently uses R-22, the cost to recharge your system is going to become more and more expensive. The EPA is completely halting production and importation of R-22 refrigerants, which means the entire country will be working with only the stockpiled quantities that remain. Right now, the average cost to charge your system with a single pound of R-22 is around $100 - $150. By Jan. 1, 2020 this could be anywhere from $300 - $350 per pound. The amount of refrigerant an air conditioner can hold varies, based on tonnage, but a general rule of thumb is 2-4 pounds per ton. One must weigh their options between continuing to repair their R-22 system or replacing it.
Will An R-410A Air Conditioning Unit Cost More Than An R-22 Unit?
Due to the phase-out of the manufacturing of R-22 and R-22 air conditioner unit production, R-410A systems are much more cost-effective than their outdated counterparts. There are also opportunities for rebates through your utility company when purchasing a high-efficiency system. If you are in need of a new air conditioner or are worried about the performance of your current R-22 system, please give us a call and one of our ServiceOne professionals can answer any questions you have.
How Can ServiceOne Help?
For the past 5-years, ServiceOne has been informing our customers of the impending phase-out. We have applied hundreds of credits to move our customers from R-22 systems to R-410 systems, but we’re not done yet. For a limited time, we’ll be offering up to a $1,000 credit on qualified systems.
Request More Information about the up to $1000 off Credit
CALL (402)597-2168, TEXT (402)593-1111, or fill out the form below if you have further questions regarding the R-22 phase-out or claiming up to a $1000 credit towards a new air conditioner.