The R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout Can Be Confusing — What You Need to Know
If you’ve heard about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout, you’re probably concerned with how it affects your current cooling system. Don’t be alarmed – in spite of the phaseout, you’ll be able to keep your current system running for some time to come.
Despite R-22’s popularity as an effective refrigerant, it also contains ozone-depleting chlorine. R-410A is a chlorine-free refrigerant that’s set to replace R-22 as the standard for A/C and heat pump manufacturers.
Here are a few important points to note about the ongoing R-22 refrigerant phaseout:
- As part of the phaseout, the Environmental Protection Agency is steadily restricting the production of new R-22. Manufacturers are allowed to produce 39 million pounds of R-22 for 2013, compared to 55 million pounds in 2012.
- Although production of new R-22 will end by 2020, stockpiled and recycled supplies will still be available for use on R-22 cooling systems. However, the costs of recharging these systems will increase as R-22 supplies dwindle.
- Some manufacturers offer alternative refrigerants that can be used in existing R-22 cooling systems, at a significant cost in performance and longevity of equipment.
- Investing in a new R-410A-based cooling system can save you money on maintenance and cooling costs over time. Cooling systems manufactured after 2010 use R-410A.
- You can’t use R-410A refrigerant in R-22 systems, nor can you use R-22 in a system designed for R-410A.
If you’re thinking of replacing your current A/C or heat pump, a new R-410A-based system offers plenty of excellent benefits. Not only do you get quieter operation and efficient cooling performance with a new R-410A-based system, you’ll also save money on energy and maintenance costs.
If you choose to stick with your current R-22-based system, for the time being, you have plenty of options at your fingertips. R-22 will still be around for your cooling needs, although the expense of having your cooling system recharged will grow in the coming years.
To learn more about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout and the benefits of R-410A, contact us at Fred’s Heating and Air. We help Omaha residents get the most out of their heating and cooling systems.