The central air conditioning system is probably one of the most ignored appliances in the home. For some reason, homeowners simply take it for granted, particularly if it is working well enough. The truth is that the air conditioning system is the unsung hero of your home. Only when it starts to show some issues do people take notice.
If your system is too old (at least 15 years old) or begins to break down, you may have to make an important decision: repair or replace. This decision is particularly important in light of the U.S. Government’s ban on the R-22, a common refrigerant used in air conditioning systems. This gradual phase-out was finalized on January 1, 2020.
When Was R-22 Totally Banned In The U.S.?
- 1 When Was R-22 Totally Banned In The U.S.?
- 2 Is R-22 Still Available In New Jersey?
- 3 What Is The Reason for Banning R-22 Refrigerants?
- 4 Which Is Better: R-22 or R410a?
- 5 What Is The 2021 Cost of R-22 Per Pound-Why Is R-22 Refrigerant Price So Expensive?
- 6 Prices Of Central Air Conditioning Systems & Available HVAC Tax Credits
- 7 Conclusion
R-22 is a type of refrigerant that was the standard in residential air conditioning systems before 2010. It is quite efficient but is no longer in favor because of its harmful effects on the environment. As such, government regulations limited this product, prompting the HVAC industry to develop better and safer alternatives. By the 1st of January 2020, the production and importation of R-22 were no longer allowed.
Is R-22 Still Available In New Jersey?
R-22 refrigerant is still available and in use but it is gradually being phased out. Note that models that still use R-22 will not be banned but with the regulation in place. However, expect R-22 refrigerant price to rise. Hence, having your air conditioning system recharged with R-22 may set you back by as much as $2000. Larger AC systems may also cost more to recharge since they will require more refrigerant. For cost-conscious homeowners, maintaining an older AC unit that steadily declines in energy efficiency is just not practical. Upgrading the central air conditioning unit is a better option.
If you need help determining if your system needs an upgrade, call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning today. We offer a free assessment and provide an accurate cost analysis for your convenience.
As mentioned above, after January 2020, R-22 refrigerant was no longer produced. Therefore, supplies will be limited. If your cooling system utilizes this refrigerant and you require a recharge, you will have two choices. You can either pay an astronomically high air conditioner repair bill or replace your old system with a new HVAC equipment. If your system is at least 15 years old, why not consider replacing it to enjoy lower prices?
What Is The Reason for Banning R-22 Refrigerants?
Although R-22 is a reliable refrigerant, its harmful effects on the environment are undeniable. R-22 contains HCFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons that affect the ozone layer. When HCFCs are released into the air, they drift upwards to the stratosphere. When HCFC molecules come in contact with UV radiation, they release chlorine atoms that destroy ozone molecules.
The ozone is the protective layer that surrounds the planet, serving as a filter against harmful ultraviolet rays. The decline in the use of HCFCs and other ozone-depleting substances came after many countries supported their ban due to the shrinking of the ozone layers.  If your central air conditioning unit uses R-22, consider switching to better and safer refrigerants that use Puron or R-410a.
Which Is Better: R-22 or R410a?
Comparison Between R-22 & R-410a
|1||R-22 is currently being phased out by the Federal Government.||R-410a is a new environmentally friendly refrigerant by the brand named Puron and is found in modern air conditioning systems.|
|2||R-22 is not as energy efficient as R-410a and it does not absorb and release heat as effectively.||R-410a is better at absorbing and releasing heat than its predecessor R-22.|
|3||Less environmentally friendly.||More ecologically friendly.|
|4||R-22 is no longer being manufactured and is not found in modern air conditioning systems.||R-410a is suitable for all air conditioners that are newly-manufactured.|
|5||R-22 has HCFCs which causes the destruction of the ozone layer.||R-410a is environmentally-friendly.|
|6||R-22 refrigerant prices are astronomical due to low supply and high demand.||R-410a offers homeowners the prevention of overheating and breaking down due to tougher and durable air conditioner parts found in modern AC units.|
HVAC systems also deteriorate over time. Dust, dirt, and other tiny debris also accumulate on the surface. Friction, normal in older air conditioning systems, damages parts due to wear and tear. Older systems also cause pressure buildup, leading to leaks and cracks. True, older air conditioning systems can still be functional. However, they consume more power. Hence they are more expensive to use. From a financial point of view, it is more sensible and cost-effective to replace the system with a new, high-efficiency unit.
The heating and cooling industry has also enjoyed advancements that improve energy efficiency in HVAC systems. All things being equal, comparing a 2005 air conditioning system to a current model will show that the newer unit is significantly more energy-efficient than the model manufactured over a decade ago. Factor in the normal wear and tear, and efficiency degradation due to aging, a modern air conditioning system is still more cost-effective.
What Is The 2021 Cost of R-22 Per Pound-Why Is R-22 Refrigerant Price So Expensive?
R-22 is still currently available, but R-22 refrigerant prices are steadily increasing. The phaseout of this chemical compound has prompted manufacturers to refrain from making it well before the deadline took place. Instead, they were more interested in selling current stocks of R22 and produce more of its replacement. With high demand and low supply, prices are expected to keep rising. This is basic economics.
With prices that could break the bank, consider if your air conditioning system is old, leaking, or beginning to run out of refrigerant. Imagine the expensive bill you will receive once you need to have your system repaired in the summer. Try postponing the repair by a few months and the bill may be even higher. As the supply dwindles, we anticipate the prices to keep increasing as well.
Prices Of Central Air Conditioning Systems & Available HVAC Tax Credits
The U.S. government offers perks such as tax breaks that will offset some of the cost of a new system. They aim to encourage people to get an AC upgrade or switch to more modern cooling systems. To find out how much you can save, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA has a tool to help you with the computations.
On average, how much you can save with an air conditioning system upgrade will depend on its SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. A higher rating on the unit means more savings, particularly through incentives, rebates, and tax credits. Additionally, cooling equipment with higher SEER ratings is far more efficient, which means you will be handling lower operational costs for cooling your home.
The SEER rating is an indication of the value that a cooling unit can offer you, in terms of the comfort it can give your home for every energy dollar you spend. If you want to know what a SEER rating can do for your home, here is an example from the U.S. Department of Energy: Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
If you want to know more about tax breaks offered in your area, get in touch with us today. We will also teach you money-saving offers available in New Jersey. Dial (800) 253-9001 right now for an in-home assessment at no cost to you.
PFO Heating & Air Conditioning has been a reliable HVAC service company that provides affordable air conditioning services for both commercial and residential properties. We pride ourselves in offering exceptional services that meet your cooling and heating needs, including installations, tune-ups, maintenance, and repairs. Our friendly, professional services are unmatched, and we offer the best prices in the area.
If you want to learn more about the systems we offer and other services available, call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning today. Our professional technicians will be happy to set up an appointment with you and assist you in finding the best and most cost-effective solutions that meet your requirements and budget.
 Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) (https://www.epa.gov/ods-phaseout)
 Ozone depletion, explained (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/ozone-depletion/)
 US Department of Energy (https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/central-air-conditioning)