With the heat of summer already bearing down, now is the time for a needed A/C tune up. If your home’s air conditioner is more than a couple years old, it likely uses R-22 refrigerant, which is currently being phased out. R-22 refrigerant supplies are slowly diminishing and the cost of R-22 is rising. With this in mind, it may be time to consider a replacement of your air conditioner with a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly model.
What is R-22?
R-22, also known by its proprietary name Freon, is the most common refrigerant used in A/C units.
Why are the R-22 refrigerant supplies being depleted?
R-22 contains ozone-depleting chlorine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated a complete phase out of R-22 under the Clean Air Act. The initial step included the prohibition of manufacturing refrigerant systems that use R-22 beginning in 2010. By 2020, the production of the R-22 compound will also be prohibited.
Recently, the EPA tightened R-22 production even further, allowing a total of 39 million pounds of new R-22 to be produced. Does that sound like a lot? In 2010, manufacturers produced 55 million pounds and in 2011 they produced 100 million pounds. Step back in history even further. You will discover that manufactures produced more than 300 million pounds of R-22 in 1999.
What are the alternative refrigerant solutions?
Newer ozone-friendly cooling systems have been developed using a chlorine-free refrigerant, often referred to as R-410A. Many of these systems also harness the power of improved dehumidification to improve efficiency.
What if you’re not ready for a new system right now?
Whether or not your air conditioner uses R-22, it will keep your house cool more efficiently if it’s operating properly. Give your A/C unit regular maintenance to ensure that it’s keeping your home comfortable without breaking the bank.
For more information about R-22 refrigerant supplies in our area, contact the pros at Cooper Climate Control Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been helping families and businesses throughout the valley for over 20 years.