What is R22?
R22 refrigerant is the most commonly used hydrochlorofluorocarbon(HCFC) still in use. It is a colorless gas that has been used in residential air conditioning systems for years. Originally, R22 was used to replace a harmful chemical R12. R22 is now considered dangerous itself, due to it’s ozone depleting potential. R22 is being phased out to make way for more environmentally friendly refrigerants.
How can the phase out cause problems for homeowners?
For many years R22 was the most common refrigerant to use in residential air conditioning systems. In 2010, the phase out began with the government mandating that air conditioning manufacturers stop producing and selling new a/c units charged with R22. Since 2010 there have been scheduled draw downs in R22 production, thus making it more expensive for homeowners, and less readily available for licensed HVAC contractors to gain access to. R22 refrigerant has already increased in price as much as over 300%.
Are you going to be able to get R22 in your system after 2020?
YES, however the cost to recharge or “top off” a residential air conditioning system charged with R22 will most likely increase dramatically. In addition to increased costs, some other drawbacks of having a system that uses R22 are:
- Contractors Using “Substitutes”: Some contractors believe that a client is better served by using an R22 substitute. All Pro Home Services does not subscribe to that way of thinking, because these substitutes are not what your R22 air conditioning system was designed to operate with. Most of them decrease efficiency. Some of them contain propane, which is of course, very flammable.
- The Price is Going to Continue to Increase: HVAC supply companies have limited the amount of R22 that HVAC contractors like All Pro Home Services can purchase at any given time, because the amount they are able to purchase from manufacturers has also been limited. Due to this limited supply, cost has been driven higher and higher. In 2020 the phase out will become 100% complete. This means that the only R22 refrigerant available will come from stockpiles at incredibly high prices OR “re-purposed” R22.
What is The Best Solution For Dealing With The R22 Phase Out?
An a/c system replacement is the most cost effective solution for the long term. You want to start by having All Pro Home Services come to your home to assess your current a/c system’s condition, as well as confirm what type of refrigerant your system is currently using. If we find that you are currently operating with R22 refrigerant, we can help guide you through your options.
I Know I Have R22, Now What?
Schedule an appointment to have us out to talk about your options. Call the professionals at All Pro Home Services at 936-777-5001 to be sure that you get a true, clear explanation of your options.