In case you haven’t heard, the former industry standard for A/C and heat pump refrigerant, R-22 is being phased out. As its production levels are decreased its value – and cost – will continue to increase. Manufacturing of R-22 is scheduled to completely end in the year 2020 though it hasn’t been used in new A/Cs and heat pumps since 2010. Any new R-22 refrigerant is being used exclusively to recharge or top off old systems.
A two-edged sword
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified R-22 refrigerant as an environmental hazard because it contributes to ozone depletion and climate change. It is a compound comprised of hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs which the EPA is removing from U.S. manufacturing.
If your southwest Arizona home has an older heat pump or air conditioning system, chances are it uses R-22 refrigerant. If during your annual A/C checkup the technician had to add refrigerant your system very well could be leaking. A leaking cooling system adds to the environmental hazard. Even though the end date for R-22 is years away the EPA is steadily lowering the amounts produced. The longer homeowners keep their old A/Cs and heat pumps the more in demand the old refrigerant will become – and the more it will cost.
Start shopping now
If your heat pump or A/C is getting old this may be a good time to shop for a new one for a variety of reasons:
- You will immediately begin to obtain better energy efficiency and cost savings.
- You won’t have to be concerned about R-22 refrigerant costs rising.
- You can take advantage of federal tax credits on qualifying, high-efficiency central A/Cs and heat pumps
- You’ll lock in a better price now before demand rises.
New A/Cs and heat pumps typically use the replacement refrigerant R-410A. Many homeowners will wait until the last minute to purchase new heat pumps or A/Cs thus increasing demand which will in turn, drive up prices. Shopping around now gives you time to determine the best prices, best efficiencies and best values for your home comfort.
If you would like more information about dwindling R-22 refrigerant supplies, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric. We’re always happy to answer your questions about home comfort, indoor air quality and energy savings, helping you become a more informed consumer.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about R-22 refrigerant and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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