R-22 Refrigerant Supplies Are Evaporating–Is Now the Time to Replace Your A/C?

If you have an older air conditioner, you may be aware that supplies of R-22 refrigerant — the kind that your cooling system probably uses — are drying up. Your HVAC technician may have mentioned this during your last A/C tune-up. The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a steady reduction in production and consumption of the refrigerant, and this year the allowance for new R-22, as well as R-142b, has been reduced from 55 million pounds to 39 million pounds. Although a small and temporary bump up in that allotment is expected, the refrigerant is becoming more expensive, and prices will continue to climb until it is phased out altogether.

What does this mean for you, the owner of an older air conditioner? If you aren’t ready to invest in an entirely new air conditioning system that uses the alternative R-410 refrigerant, some manufacturers are offering a dry-charged outside unit that’s compatible with R-22 equipment.

But if your system is older, and you’ve begun to see a decline in performance, now’s a good time to consider replacement. R-22, the refrigerant of choice for the past four decades, has been shown to contribute to ozone depletion, the creation of greenhouse gases and global warming. Replacing your system with a unit that uses a more environmentally friendly refrigerant will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re no longer contributing to this serious environmental issue.

Replacing your air conditioner now can have other advantages, as well:

  • You won’t need to concern yourself with R-22 refrigerant supplies in the future.
  • Today’s air conditioners are considerably more efficient that those produced just six to 10 years ago. Older air conditioners can have seasonal energy efficiency ratings of 10 or lower. Units on the market now can have SEER ratings in the 20s.
  • Purchase a highly efficient air conditioner this year, and you can qualify for a $300 federal tax credit.
  • A new air conditioner will add to the value of your home. Today’s air conditioners typically come with 10-year warranties. This is a selling point if you’re planning to put your home on the market. And if you’re planning to stay in your home, you have the assurance of full protection.

For more expert advice on R-22 systems and other issues related to home comfort, contact Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving residents and businesses in the Fort Collins area since 1997.


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