Summer is coming and that means cookouts, swimming, and warmer weather. It also means air conditioner season and this summer air conditioner repairs will come with skyrocketing costs for the refrigerant R22, more commonly known as Freon™.
We talked to you about the R22 phase out earlier this year, and creation of R22 refrigerant has already dropped by 90%. By 2020, production will be banned. Homeownersnow face the decision of whether to repair or to replace the system using R22 refrigerant from both a financial and environmental perspective.
The R22 phase out has added new variables to consider if you are thinking about repairing or replacing your A/C system. For instance, some refrigerant manufacturers are selling less expensive alternatives to R22, often referred to as “drop-in” replacement refrigerant, but those substitutes are cheaper only in the short run.
“Lennox®, one of the leading A/C system manufacturers, has provided research that shows these less expensive alternate refrigerants are not capable of working with the lubricating oil used in R22 systems,” said Dave Moody, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Service Experts Heating and Air Conditioning. “Recharging older A/C systems with these alternative refrigerants may actually damage the equipment and create more high-cost problems. These so called drop-in refrigerants will also void any applicable manufacturer’s warranty.”
Because of the R22 phase out, the heating and cooling industry is seeing the cost to repair older air conditioning systems needing additional R22 refrigerant go up by 300% to 400%, and that cost is only expected to increase as summer arrives.
New A/C systems use the more environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant, a different refrigerant that cannot be mixed or used in an existing A/C system or heat pump designed for R22. Currently, reclamation and recycling of R22 is expected to be adequate for existing systems, albeit at a much higher cost, giving homeowners time to upgrade equipment before the phase-out period.
“Homeowners don’t need to replace their air conditioner now, but it’s good for them to know their options in this situation,” added Moody. “It’s crucial to know you can’t combine R22 and R410A. When a new R410A system is installed, the outdoor equipment and outdoor coil both need replacing, and the interconnecting refrigerant tubing needs inspecting. This new equipment is often far more energy-efficient and can significantly save on energy costs, sound pollution, or even utilize alternative energy sources like solar energy.”
The typical life-span of many home air conditioners is eight to ten years, which will help homeowners determine the cost benefit of either paying the rising price for R22 to repair older equipment, versus upgrading. Additional benefits to upgrading include the opportunity to take advantage of energy rebates being offered and enhancing your home’s energy-efficiency. New equipment will also have longer warranty periods, smoother operation, and the peace of mind of a more ozone-friendly refrigerant, not to mention improved home comfort through more advanced technology.
To learn more about your repair or replacement options, call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today at 866-397-3787 today.
Student loan debt in the United States has been a growing concern for many years. Today’s total student debt is more than $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re considering your academic journey or advising someone who is, it’s important to weigh... Continue reading
By Brian Sodoma, for Service Experts With autumn around the corner, homeowners will soon be getting ready for the winter months ahead. Cold weather puts new demands on your heating and cooling system. To prepare your heating system for the heavy work it will soon be taking on, routine HVAC... Continue reading
The HVAC profession is in a continuous state of change. With technological advancements and ever-important environmental concerns, the skills required of HVAC specialists are evolving faster than ever. Preparing to adapt and fulfill these new challenges is essential for anyone looking to join the... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.