Your air conditioner is buzzing away, happily doing its job year after year with no problems. Despite blowing dirt and fierce heat, it never complains, it never quits and it never gets tired. But an air conditioner only has a short life in the grand scheme of things, and when yours is running on R-22 refrigerant, hearing that its lifeblood is being phased out can be frightening news.
Fear not, fellow air conditioner lover! The R-22 phase out isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds. We’ll walk you through it and explain exactly what it means to you and what you’ll need to do to keep up with the changes.
R-22 is a type of refrigerant that was once used in air conditioners, refrigerators and anything that kept things cool. Unfortunately, it was discovered that this and other hydrochlorofluorocarbons were dangerous for the ozone layer. So, in 1987, the international community decided they should be phased out of use and production completely. Since the parties involved realized that it wouldn’t be realistic to suddenly stop using this chemical, they developed a long-term plan to stop production.
In 1996, a schedule was set for this phase out. No new R-22 systems, including air conditioners, would be constructed in the United States after 2010. By 2020, R-22 will no longer be in production at all. Between now and 2020, less and less R-22 will be created and sold, driving prices up and making it more expensive to service your old unit.
Just because there’s a phase out on the horizon doesn’t mean that you don’t have options. In fact, you have several options when it comes to managing your air conditioning needs between now and 2020. Weigh these choices carefully before the time comes to make a major repair to your old, faithful air conditioner:
Maintaining Your Old System. Your most cost-effective option for now is to take extra good care of your current air conditioner. Check and change your filters often, keep your evaporator coil and condensation lines clean and wash your condensing unit several times a year, especially right after a dust storm. By doing as much as you can to properly care for your air conditioner, you’ll get the most mileage out of it before it eventually has to be sent to the big scrapyard in the sky.
Upgrade Your Coolant. When your unit needs a check-up, you’ll have the option to replace your R-22 refrigerant with something more environmentally friendly. Although you won’t be able to use the R-410A refrigerant in a newer air conditioner, you will be able to upgrade to a coolant that you can buy into the distant future (provided your unit lives that long). The biggest problem with going this way is that your system wasn’t really designed with these coolants in mind, and won’t run nearly as efficiently with R-22.
Replace Your System. Although it’s the most expensive option by far, replacing your R-22 system with an R-410A system now will save you a bundle in the long run. Not only will a new system be more energy efficient, you’ll spare yourself many years of skyrocketing R-22 costs and repairs on a rapidly aging system that will give up sooner rather than later. You may also have a number of rebates available to save you even more on a new, energy efficient air conditioner.
If you need help deciding which option is best for your older air conditioner, give us a call at Precision Air. We’ll be happy to examine your system, give it a complete tune-up, and let you know if it’s time for a replacement. We’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to schedule your air conditioning appointment.
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I wanted to make sure my air conditioner was ready for summer. Fernando came out and made sure my unit was tip top. He was friendly, professional and not a sales man. Thanks Fernando!
Colin and Andrea were incredibly professional and knowledgeable. They did a great job representing the company. We will definitely contact them again for any HVAC needs that arise.
We woke up in the middle of the nite on memorial day to a hot house. I called precision at 6am and they were here before noon. Simple problem fixed, cool house. I love these guys!
Thank you Ray at Precision Air...the compressor on our AC went out last night and the house was HOT. This morning Ray was there to replace the compressor and had us feeling the cool air again in no time. Great customer service...quick response time and friendly from the first call until the repair was completed. Ray even offered to clean the filters! Thank you!!
I’m so glad I called Precision for my annual AC checkup!! Austin was professional, super friendly and answered all my questions. I’ve had more bad experiences with AC companies here in the valley than good ones. Precision Air will have all my hvac business going forward!! Thanks for being a reputable and honest company!!!
He did a great job; professional and knowledgeable! Kalin is the technician’s name and Precision Air and Plumbing should take a bow for hiring such an invaluable employee!!!
Precision Air is a company of integrity. I signed up with them August 1st, 2019 for their AC maintenance plan for 2 years... Someone from their office called me a week ago to set up their yearly maintenance visit. SO GRATEFUL.
Precision Air and Plumbing is a wonderful company to work with! They are very experienced and professional. They have helped us in our home for many years via a/c service and air duct cleaning.
It was time to replace our AC, and so our choice was Precision Air, as we've been with them for over 20 years. Teman & Julian did an excellent job on the installation today, arriving on time.