Hi, I am Laura Pearman the AC Answer Lady, holder of a Florida State AC Contractor License Class B, and managing partner of Frosty’s AC.
R-22 Will be Withdraw from Marketing on January 1, 2020
HCFC-22 known as R-22 is used as a refrigerant for previously manufactured for AC Systems. R-22 is an ozone-depleting substance that will not be produced in the United States or imported starting on January 1, 2020. But, existing AC Systems using R-22 may continue to use R-22 as long as they’re in operation.
If these existing AC Systems require R-22 because of a refrigerant leak, the AC technician can only use current R-22 inventories or reclaimed R-22 refrigerant from retired AC Systems. After January 2020, due to supply & demand, the price of R-22 refrigerant is expected to sky-rocket to an all-time high. Hence, AC Repair of legacy AC Systems using R-22 will be more expensive due to the cost of R-22.
Replacing Legacy AC Systems
These legacy AC System are obsolete and can be replaced with newer energy-efficient AC Systems. Most of the new AC Systems will rely on R-410A refrigerant (originally developed by Carrier). R-410A is EPA approved as less ozone-depleting refrigerant for all newly manufactured air conditioners and heat pumps. Many residential customers will replace their old AC System with the newest AC technology to save money on AC maintenance and electricity bills.
Many customers just don’t want the hassle to be stuck with an AC not working and the delay of finding R-22 for replenishment. If you have a legacy AC system more than 10 years old, you may want to consider replacing it before January 2020. Call Frosty’s for a Free AC Quote. We do the total job from AC System selection to best meet your needs, including optional features you want, a price to fit your budget, financing and finally, expert AC Installation that exceeds manufacturer specifications.
AC Repair After Jan 2020
AC Repair for obsolete systems that used R-22 may be very expensive as R-22 inventories are reduced. There may be delays of weeks to get R-22 or not at all. R-22 inventories shortages will be reflected in very high priced R-22. Although you can deploy reclaim R-22 for repairs, we don’t recommend it due to reclaimed R-22 may contain contaminates and cause extensive damage to your Air Handler.
You may want to retrofit your legacy AC System with an alternative refrigerant to replace R-22 such as R-407C or R-407A. Please note, it is illegal to intentionally vent R-22 to the environment and R-22 must properly disposed according EPA regulations. To retrofit a obsolete AC System will require the following procedure that Frosty’s will perform:
- Must be tested for leaks
- Repair any Leaks, if possible
- R-22 must be collected and reclaimed
- Flush Refrigerant lines from compressor to evaporator
- Purge Refrigerant lines with nitrogen
- Install R-407A or R-407C Refrigerant
- Test for leaks
- Adjust refrigerant levels to manufacturer specifications
Your obsolete system was designed with R-22. The retrofitting may affect your AC System’s performance and energy usage. This means a retrofitted system may not cool the house with the same way the old system did with R-22 refrigerant. We are are not sure what the cooling behavior and efficiency of the retrofitted system. It may affect the electricity bill and cost you more money.
There are very few published facts about the effects of R-22 systems that are retrofitted with an alternative refrigerant. Also, it’s unclear whether an AC Company will support or provide any warranty of the retrofitted system. Will retrofitting cause the accelerated failure of AC components? We just don’t have a lot of practical experience with retrofitted systems. Frosty’s recommends to wait and see if retrofitting is a viable, cost-effective solution. As it stands right now, Frosty’s doesn’t recommend retrofitting. Finally, the cost of retrofitting your obsolete system is not cheap and if your AC System is 10 years or older, we recommend an AC replacement.
To learn about R-22 Phaseout, click on Residential Air Conditioning and the Phaseout of HCFC-22.
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