Q: “I’ve been told I need a new AC System because our home’s units contain R22 refrigerant. What does this mean? Is this a sales gimmick?
A: R22 is a chemical that is used as a refrigerant. It is a Hydro-chloro-fluoro-carbon (HCFC). You may be more familiar with the brand name “Freon”.
The “chloro” stands for chlorine. This is the part of the chemical that is damaging to the earth’s ozone. The R22 is ozone depleting and it weakens the protective atmospheric layer insulating the earth from radiation. Overexposure to UV radiation can cause skin cancer, cataracts, and many more harmful effects. Additionally, R22 is a powerful greenhouse gas with a very high global warming potential.
R22 Refrigerant Phase Out
To minimize the impact to the earth’s protective ozone layer, the US Government began a mandated phase-out of R22 production in 2015. By 2020, (only 17 months away) no new or reclaimed R22 will be made or imported in the U.S. New AC systems have the refrigerant R-410a. R22 A/C systems will not be rechargeable and must be replaced.
Careful consideration must be made when debating to repair and “Band-aid” or to replace an old R22 AC with a new R410a system.
The costs of the R22 can currently be over $1,000 to recharge a system. As supplies of R22 become less available that cost will continue to rise. Replacing a system 10+ years or older with a new AC system is a better investment. Systems more than 10 years old have outdated technology, are less efficient and more costly to run. If your system is 10 years or older, it’s older than the iPhone! A/C technology and equipment has evolved. You wouldn’t still be using your first iPhone, would you?
Replacing an older system will be more costly than repairing but in the long run, you’ll be investing in a new, high-efficiency unit with safer refrigerant (R410a), and many more technological advances and smart-controlled that were not available in the past. Newer systems run much more efficiently, quietly and have many smart-features that help the homeowner take control of energy consumption and remain comfortable in the home and in the wallet.
Tariffs and Equipment Costs Increases:
Finally, the tariffs on imported aluminum and steel tariffs enacted in March 2018, have lead to manufacturer price increase that began in June 2018. In 2021, equipment rates increased 26% and as of March of 2022 another 12% per manufacturer. Prices will continue to increase as much as 15% this summer. The longer you wait to replace your old inefficient system, the MORE the replacement system will cost you.
The San Antonio Energy provider (CPS) offers rebates as incentives for changing out R22 units w/the newer 16 seer R410a options. If your AC system fails and it is R22, please speak to your TemperaturePro technician or sales associate about your options. 210-858-5566