What You Need to Know About Using R-22 Refrigerant

technician inspecting unit

Older air conditioners that rely on R-22 refrigerant may cause some costly issues for Naples, Florida, homeowners. If you’re still using R-22 refrigerant, it’s important to prepare for the changes ahead. Here’s what you need to know about using R-22 in the coming months.

R-22 and the Environment

R-22 is a type of HCFC refrigerant that’s commonly found in air conditioners manufactured before 2010. This compound is hazardous to the earth’s ozone layer, so it has been deemed unsafe.

The R-22 Phase-Out

The United States is in the process of gradually phasing out R-22 refrigerant. Air conditioners manufactured after 2010 were no longer allowed to rely on this type of refrigerant. Starting January 1, 2020, R-22 can no longer be imported or manufactured in the United States. The only R-22 available will be sourced from existing stores or salvaged from older systems. This will increase the price for the remaining stores of R-22.

What to Do if You Use R-22

If you have an older air conditioner, you may still use R-22. Since an AC system can last for 15 or 20 years, your installation may still have a few years of life left in it. You have a few options for your R-22 system:

  • Continue using R-22 where it’s available and pay the higher price to recharge your system.
  • Retrofit your air conditioner to use a different refrigerant.
  • Purchase a new, more environmentally friendly air conditioner.

If your system is over 15 years old, it’s probably best to replace it rather than retrofit it. Keep the phase-out in mind if you’re dealing with refrigerant leaks, because this common problem will quickly become an expensive issue.

If you’re using R-22 in your home and would like to learn more about the situation, call our technicians at (239) 204-4114. We can help you assess your system and come up with the best and most affordable plan of action going forward.

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