An Overview to R22 Refrigerant Phase-Out

Georgia homeowners may soon need to make a decision about their home cooling system. If you own an older air conditioner, the refrigerant it uses, Freon, will get harder to find. If your system is nearing the end of its useful life or you’re investing a considerable amount in repairs every year, it’s time to think about replacement. For the older cooling system still in good working order, you’ll face a more complicated challenge. For information about the R22 refrigerant phase-out and how it impacts HVAC repair in Acworth, GA, read today’s post!


Tech with Refrigerant Outside AC Unit The Purpose of Refrigerant

Your air conditioner controls how cool the temperature feels in your home. It’s just like your refrigerator, at least as far as the way it handles coldness. Your AC processes the hot air in your home and returns it as cold air. It uses R22 refrigerant, which is a non-flammable gas. R22 is sometimes called R22 Freon or HCFC-22 Freon. Whatever name you prefer, think of this cooling agent as the backbone of your cooling system. In 2020, the standards for refrigerants used in air conditioners will change. New rules directly impact the availability of R22. The HVAC industry will spend the year 2020 phasing out R22.


Why Is R22 Such a Big Deal?

Regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), R22 refrigerant is like a controlled substance for the environment. The EPA determined R22 contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer, making it an environmental hazard. The United States government decided to place restrictions on R22. They issued an order that all manufacturers must stop using R22 in new air conditioning systems. The restrictions also mean no more manufacturing of R22 refrigerant.


A Better Refrigerant

Instead of R22, we have a safer cooling agent. While not as economical as R22, the new refrigerant is better for the environment. Say hello to R410A, the current and compliant refrigerant used in air condition equipment. Right now, it’s more expensive than R22, but that will change. As supply and demand for R410A balances, the cost should come down. R410A isn’t only better for the environment. There’s an added benefit to you. Air conditioners using R410A vibrate less, meaning they don’t break down as often.


Two AC Units Outside How the Phase-Out Impacts You

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, the impact of the R22 phase out primarily affects homeowners with older cooling systems. You can still use R22 in your existing system, so if your AC unit has several years of service left, don’t rush to buy a new system. If you need HVAC service and your technician discovers a refrigerant leak, they will need to search harder for available R22. They will only be able to purchase it through after-market sales. Currently, the cost for R22 is on the rise and will likely continue rising. Availability is limited. Since your HVAC tech cannot buy it new, they can’t guarantee availability if your system needs a recharge. At that point, upgrading your air conditioner to an R410A system may make more sense.


Shriver Mechanical is committed to providing clients with the most reliable HVAC maintenance in Acworth, GA. That includes keeping your air conditioner running all summer. Contact us today for information about refrigerants used in your system and what the R22 phase-out will mean for you and your cooling system.