Do you know if the R-22 phase-out directly affects you? If your current unit uses the common refrigerant R-22, or Freon, it might. R-22 is slowly being phased out of usage and production for HVAC systems. R-22 is a coolant that allows your air conditioner unit to cool your house down to whatever temperature you set, but could have some disastrous and costly impacts on the environment. Here are the latest updates on the phase-out of the R-22 refrigerant.
How Did We Get Here?
To fully explain how the R-22 phase-out came to be would require an essay, but the short answer is that the EPA determined the refrigerant contributes to ozone depletion and began limiting its production and sage back in 2010. Since then, the United States has cut back on R-22 usage and found alternative refrigerants that are more eco-friendly.
R-22 Refrigerant Timeline Update
To fully explain the history of the R-22 phase-out would require an essay, but the short answer is that the EPA determined the refrigerant contributes to ozone depletion and began limiting its production and usage back in 2010. Since these findings came to light, the United States is required to cut back on R-22 usage and find alternative refrigerants that are more eco-friendly.
How Can I Tell If My HVAC System Uses R-22?
There are a handful of ways to check if your air conditioning system utilizes R-22:
- Check the nameplate on the side of your unit. If it runs off of R-22, it will say something like “Contains HCFC-22.”
- Look at the owner’s manual for your HVAC unit. If you don’t have a copy of it, you can almost always find an electronic version online.
- If you still are not able to tell, give us a call and we can help check!
How Do You Replace R-22?
Most HVAC systems will replace R-22 with R-410A refrigerant. Although R-410A releases hydrofluorocarbons much like R-22, it has not been proven to affect the ozone layer, making it a more environmentally sustainable choice. If your current system runs off of R-22, there are two options you can consider:
- Retrofit your unit with a converter for R-410A. This is the more budget-conscious option to having a new HVAC system installed.
- Install a new HVAC system. With 2020 only a year-and-a-half away, now might be the best time for you to make a long-term investment. When R-22 is out of production and usage, the demand for new systems will increase. Installing a new unit now will allow you to be ahead of the curve will save you money down the line.
Des Moines’ Trusted HVAC Company
Wyckoff Heating & Cooling has been providing Iowans with quality HVAC service since 1950. If you need air conditioning replacement, air conditioning repair, or any of our other services, contact us today! We also are available 24/7 if you ever have an emergency. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!