Considerations To Take If Your AC Uses R-22

refrigerantCentral air conditioning units are a necessity in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment in our homes. But sadly, most people do not fully appreciate their value. These systems serve us by helping maintain a cool temperature inside our homes during humid and blistering hot summers. However, if your unit is older than 15 years, and it breaks down during this season, then you have a huge decision to make. You will have to choose whether to repair or replace it.

The US government passed a mandatory regulation that requires R-22 refrigerants to be phased out. This regulation means that you will have to install a newer model air conditioning system in your home if yours uses this refrigerant. There are several reasons why this will happen, and we will explain all of them in this article.

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When Will R-22 Phaseout Be Completed In The United States?

R-22 is the substance that air conditioners use for refrigeration. In old cooling units, this substance used to be the manufacturers refrigerant of choice. This refrigerant worked perfectly in helping air conditioners extract warm air from the indoors and pumping it outside the house. That is why manufacturers widely adopted it for use in air conditioning systems.

However, R-22 has since fallen out of favor since it negatively affects the environment. HVAC manufacturers have already invested vast amounts of money in the research and development of a better refrigerant to replace R-22. The United States government has placed stringent regulations on the manufacturing of this refrigerant. By January 1, 2020, it will be punishable by law if you are caught manufacturing or trying to import R-22 into the United States.

Is R-22 Refrigerant Still Available In Connecticut?

The answer is yes. R-22 is still available, but only until the end of 2019. However, until then, this substance will be costly to purchase. For instance, to refill your air conditioning unit, you may have to pay $2,000. R-22 refrigerant price, however, depends on the size of your system, meaning that you may have to pay even more. The larger your air conditioner is, the more you will pay to recharge it.

If you own a 5-ton air conditioning unit, you may have to pay upwards of $2,000 for a recharge. For your peace of mind, we recommend that you replace your older unit with a newer, more energy efficient one and avoid spending so much money recharging the old one.

We know that this might sound as bad news to many, but from the beginning of 2020, R-22 refrigerant will no longer be available. This aspect means that if you are still using the old HVAC system and it requires a refill, you will have no choice but to replace the unit with a new one. You should, therefore, take advantage of the lower prices of replacement ACs this year.

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What Is The Damage Caused To The Environment By R-22?

environmentally friendly refrigerantScientists discovered that R-22 has a huge negative impact on the environment. For this reason, the U.S. government placed a ban on this substance from being used as a refrigerant. R-22 contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs.[1]

HCFCs are a chemical compound that is very harmful to the environment. These compounds are among those responsible for the damage caused to the ozone layer. The ozone layer is an invisible layer in the earth’s atmosphere that protects us from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Due to pollutants such as HCFCs, a large hole had raptured in this layer. Therefore, there was an introduction of a ban on the use of the products that contained this chemical.[2]

Since the commencement of the ban, there has been a reduction in the size of the hole, making the earth safer again from exposure to UV radiation. It is, therefore, vital that you play your part in protecting the environment by replacing your air conditioner with a newer and eco-friendly one that uses Puron (R-410a).

Comparison Of The Energy Efficiency Of R-22 Vs. R-410a

R-22 & R-410a Refrigerants: What Are The Differences?

R-22
R-410a

R22 was the refrigerant that was used before the phaseout took place. The phaseout began in 2010 and will finalize in January 2020.
A new environmentally friendly refrigerant by the brand named Puron. It is currently used in modern air conditioning systems.

R-22 refrigerant is not as energy efficient. It is incapable of absorbing and releasing heat as effectively.
R-410a is more competent as a refrigerant. It can absorb and release heat efficiently.

Is not environmentally friendly.
R-410a is more ecologically friendly.

Is no longer being used for modern air conditioning systems.
R-410a is used in newly-manufactured air conditioners.

R-22 has CFCs and contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
No contribution to the depletion of the ozone layer.

Since the commencement of its phaseout R-22 refrigerant prices are astronomical.
R-410a enables homeowners to avoid the risk of overheating and breaking down due to tougher and durable air conditioner parts.

Due to aging, all air conditioners deteriorate in terms of their efficiency. They develop cracks and leaks due to pressure build up. Dust and dirt accumulate on their surfaces. Also, as an air conditioner ages, there is wear and tear due to friction. Even though an older system will still serve you by making your home environment more comfortable, it will consume much more power to do so, compared to the time when it was still new. The higher an air conditioner’s level of electricity consumption is, the more money you will have to spend on your energy bill. It is, therefore, smarter and economically viable to get a new and more efficient unit.

Due to advancements in technology, the energy efficiency of HVAC systems continues to improve as the days go by. Putting everything into consideration, if you compare an air conditioning unit from 2005 to one from 2019, the later reigns in superiority than the former. Combine this with factors such as wear and tear and degradation of efficiency, the newer unit makes a better and more cost-efficient air conditioning system to install in your home.

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What Is The Cost Of R-22 Per Pound In 2019?

cost of r22The R-22 refrigerant is still in production in 2019. You can still recharge your system with it. However, manufacturers of this refrigerant have been discouraged from producing it any more. As a result, its price has been skyrocketing every passing day due to high demand and low supply. We do not see this changing any time soon. Until the time the total ban on the manufacture and importation of this substance officially kicks off in 2020, you will have to spend even more per refill of this refrigerant.

You will have to dig deep into your pocket and pay for unbelievably high repair charges in case your air conditioner has a leak, or its refrigerant level falls.

Air Conditioning Savings And HVAC Tax Credit 2019

The US government is offering incentives to homeowners to replace their HVAC systems with newer ones. Some of the incentives include tax cuts to help foot the cost of purchasing a new unit. For more information about this and to learn more about the computations, visit the ACCA or Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is what is used to determine the amount of savings you can make on an air conditioning unit’s upgrade. The higher the rating, the more savings you can make on tax credits, rebates, and incentives. Apart from that, the higher the rating of your HVAC system, the better its efficiency. If you have a cooling system with a high SEER rating, you will pay less for its operating cost. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.[3]

For more information on how you can save money when upgrading your air conditioning unit, and to learn more about the tax breaks available in your locality, make sure you contact Wilcox Energy today and schedule a free, in-home AC system assessment.

 

Conclusion

At Wilcox Energy, we pride ourselves on providing the most affordable air conditioning services for both residential and commercial properties. We are specialists in HVAC repairs, installations, tune-ups, and maintenance of HVAC systems.

Whenever you require air conditioning services, be sure to give us a call. Our NATE certified can find the best solutions to meet your cooling needs. All of our services are fast, friendly, and affordable. Call now!

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For more information about our HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations.
 
[1] Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) (https://www.epa.gov/ods-phaseout)
[2] Ozone depletion, explained (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/ozone-depletion/)
[3] US Department of Energy (https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/central-air-conditioning)