Out With the Old Refrigerant, In With the New
Many of today’s air conditioning units use a refrigerant known as R-22. R-22 is an HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) refrigerant, which is known to harm the ozone. Following the guidelines of the federal Clean Air Act, by 2020 R-22 will no longer be available.
As an alternative to this harmful chemical, many manufacturers have transitioned to a refrigerant called R-410A, a blend that is ozone-friendly. R-410A requires the use of higher pressure, which makes it incompatible with older air conditioner systems built for R-22. Trying to use R-410A in a cooling system not made for it could damage the equipment and cause it to break down.
Does Your Air Conditioner Use R-22?
To help diagnose your air conditioner refrigerant issue, it is helpful to know which refrigerant your system is using. The first way to do this is by checking the nameplate on the side of your unit. If it uses R-22, there should be a line with similar wording to, “contains HCFC-22”. Another possible way to check is in your owner’s manual. If you can’t find yours, an electronic copy is normally available on the manufacturer’s website.
Why You Should Upgrade to a New Air Conditioner
Due to R-22 slowly being phased out, production of R-22-friendly units is limited and costs to charge existing units continue to rise. Rather than continuing to pay increased costs to replenish leaking R-22 in your system, it is recommended to invest in a new air conditioner to help you save money and be more environmentally friendly. With the phase-out finishing by 2020, the demand for new systems will increase and drive up the price. Installing a new unit now can save you money, rather than waiting to replace it later on.
Please note, there is no federal requirement to change or convert existing units for use with another refrigerant. Existing units using R-22 can continue to be serviced with R-22.
Contact Wyckoff for Refrigerant Advice
Let a Wyckoff professional answer any questions you may have regarding these refrigerants and show you the variety of efficient units we carry that use environmentally safe R-410A.