Refrigerants are an essential component of any air conditioning system. They’re contained within the A/C coils and ensure that your system functions by helping to dehumidify and cool indoor air.
For years, traditional A/C systems have been accustomed to the standard R-22 refrigerant, which was commonly used in most air conditioning systems. But the R-22 refrigerant phaseout has that changing over the next several years.
Details of the R-22 refrigerant phaseout
R-22 refrigerant is being phased out because it’s a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) compound, which contains chlorine and contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.
If you have an air conditioner manufactured before 2010, it probably uses R-22 refrigerant. However, because of growing environmental concerns, this standard is being phased out, and regulations for its use have been further tightened by the EPA in accordance with the Clean Air Act. The production of A/C systems using R-22 refrigerant have been prohibited since 2010, with modern systems using the more environmentally-friendly R-410A. By 2020, all production of R-22 will cease.
How it affects you
Although R-22-reliant equipment is no longer produced, the use of air conditioners manufactured before 2010 is still permissible. As R-22 production slows, however, only reclaimed and recycled R-22 will be available for homeowners needing a refrigerant recharge. This is expected to lead to reduced supply, greater demand and higher prices.
More about R410-A
R-410A is a more environmentally friendly refrigerant option which is fast becoming the new standard. It contains no chlorine, so there’s no threat to the ozone. Newer systems designed and built to run with R-410A are also more economical, reliable and tend to outperform older models.
If an entire system replacement is out of your budget, you could consider a new dry-charged unit compatible for use with R-22. A qualified HVAC technician can provide more information about whether this type of unit would work for your cooling needs.
For more information on the R-22 refrigerant phaseout or any other home comfort needs, contact the experts at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re proud to serve homeowners throughout the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts.
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