What is R22?
R22, also known as Freon, is a refrigerant that is most commonly used in air conditioning equipment. Unfortunately, chlorine is a component of Freon. Chlorine is extremely damaging to the earth’s ozone layer when released into the air, which is what prompted the phase-out of R22 and other gases in the first place.
How Do I Know If My HVAC Unit Uses R-22
If you’re A/C Unit was built before 2010, it is likely your unit takes R22. The type of refrigerant your unit runs on can be found on the unit’s nameplate.
Below is an example of where you would find your system’s nameplate.
What This Means for Homeowners
If your unit uses R22, there are three things you can do:
- Get a new air conditioning unit that uses EPA approved refrigerant. The most common alternative to R22 is R-410a. This is the best course of action. In the short term, this will save you a lot of stress. In the long run, this will save you tons of money!
- Retrofit your unit so that it can operate using a different refrigerant. This will save you from having to deal with the effects of the R22 phase out as well as the cost of buying a new unit. However, this won’t change the fact that your unit is old. Please consult one of our expert HVAC technicians to better understand your options. You could be spending a pretty penny to modify a unit that will breakdown in a year or two.
- Don’t replace or retrofit your unit. This is not a recommended option and by law is illegal to use R22 refrigerant in older HVAC units.
Why you should act now!
Having an R22 unit in 2020 and beyond can pose a few potential problems for you. R22 will be hard to find because the supply will be very low. In turn, the price of R22 will skyrocket because of its scarcity, making the average service call more expensive. And that is if you are lucky enough to even find an HVAC technician that has a supply of Freon.
If you try to replace your unit after 2020, you will risk having to wait in a long line of people who also have to get a new unit. Many people won’t know about the R22 phase out until they can’t find someone to service their unit. Expect more unit replacements in the Valley in 2020 due to this EPA government R22 refrigerant phase-out. If your unit breaks down, it may take a few days or even a week until you can get someone to come out to your house to replace your unit. This could be disastrous if it happened in the middle of the summer.