Still holding on to your current air conditioner? If yours was made prior to 2010, then chances are it still uses R-22, also known in the HVAC trade as Freon. This refrigerant is at the center of an ongoing worldwide effort to phase out of ozone-depleting agents. By the end of 2020, R-22 and other ozone-depleting refrigerants like it will be but a memory for consumers and HVAC technicians alike.
As 2020 draws near, you'll have plenty of good reasons to finally ditch your old A/C system and invest in a newer unit that uses environmentally friendlier refrigerants. The following highlights three reasons that should get your attention.
1. R-22 Will Only Get Harder to Find
The worldwide phase-out of R-22 not only puts an end to new Freon supplies, but current stocks will also dwindle as time goes on. After 2020, the only reliable sources of Freon for any A/C system will be from retired HVAC equipment and other machines that still use the refrigerant.
What does that mean for your existing A/C system? If your current unit suffers a refrigerant leak, you'll likely have a harder time finding a reliable supply of the refrigerant your unit needs for operation. Retrofitting options exist, but it's not always a viable option for every A/C system. Plus, the cost of a retrofit could meet or even exceed the cost of buying and installing a new A/C system.
2. R-22-Based Systems Will Become More Expensive to Fix
As supplies of R-22 dry up throughout the country, you'll also find it increasingly expensive to recharge your existing A/C system. The ever-rising cost of R-22 will eventually make repairs too expensive for your budget to comfortably handle.
By switching to a new A/C system that uses the latest in eco-friendly refrigerants, you'll not only be ahead of the curve when it comes to the R-22 phase-out, but you'll also save money on HVAC maintenance and repairs.
3. Newer A/C Systems Offer Better Performance
Freon was once lauded for its excellent cooling performance, but such performance came at the cost of environmental damage. Today's HVAC systems rely largely on R-410a, a refrigerant specifically designed to mitigate much of R-22's ozone-depleting properties.
R-410a is not only environmentally friendlier, but the new refrigerant also offers better cooling performance than its predecessor. Keep in mind that R-410a is not a "drop-in" replacement for R-22 due to its different operating requirements, so you'll need to upgrade to a newer A/C system if you want to experience the benefits of R-410a.
Contact a service, like Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning, for more help.
My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.