If you’ve just learned that your cooling system needs an R-22 refrigerant charge during this R-22 phaseout, these tips might help you avoid the high cost of refilling it. Since the U.S. EPA is phasing this refrigerant out, supplies are diminishing and prices are climbing.
The phase-out of R-22 started in 2010 when new equipment had to be manufactured with alternatives that don’t deplete the ozone layer. Each year, the EPA cuts back the amount of R-22 that can be manufactured and imported. By 2020, this product will only be available as recycled material, at which time it may be difficult to find and very expensive.
One of these three options might help you avoid having to face the high cost and environmentally dangers this refrigerant poses.
- Replace the R-22 inside your cooling system with a pure HFC product. Your HVAC contractor may have to make small changes to your existing system to change it from R-22 to R-407C, which is a non-ozone depleting refrigerant.
- Ask your HVAC contractor if your system might be compatible with R-438A or R-422D. If so, the technician may be able to capture the existing R-22 and replace it with either of these non-ozone depleting products to ease you through the R-22 phaseout.
- Replace your existing system. If you’re running a system that’s 10 years or older, its efficiency has likely diminished to the point where your electric bills are climbing. Considering how long and hot summers are in the Orlando area, it may make more sense to replace your entire system with a new one that uses R-410A, a more efficient and much safer refrigerant than R-22.The lower operating costs of new systems, particularly Energy Star equipment, help offset the cost of purchasing and installing them, and since the need for cooling is a given in this climate, the investment will pay for itself in lower electric bills.
The pros at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions can help you navigate the best way through the R-22 phaseout. We’ve provided HVAC services for Orlando area homeowners since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about R-22 phaseout and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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