If you are having problems with your old air conditioning system, you have two major choices: replace or repair. For reasonably new units, repairs are more convenient, faster, and cheaper. However, if you have an old system, you might be better off retiring it and making way for a replacement unit. That is especially true if your air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant.
R22 coolant is now illegal to import or produce in the US. HVAC systems that rely on it will face astronomical refrigerant prices if their unit has a refrigerant leak. However, most HVAC experts agree that wise owners will replace their air conditioning unit instead of forking out so much money for a repair. The process itself, of course, can be a tricky one. Should the entire HVAC system be replaced? Or can you get by with an air conditioner retrofit?
R22 Replacement: Why R-22 Is Phased Out
- 1 R22 Replacement: Why R-22 Is Phased Out
- 1.1 What The R22 Ban Means For Homeowners In New Jersey
- 1.2 R22 Replacements: Developing R-410A & Other Alternative Refrigerants
- 1.3 Full AC Upgrades Vs Air Conditioner Retrofits
- 1.4 Consider Replacing Your Cooling And Heating Systems At The Same Time
- 1.5 Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For All Of Your HVAC Needs
First of all, we need to be clear about why R-22 refrigerant is phased out of production and distribution. This product contains HCFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons. As refrigerants, they do a great job. However, there is a catch to them: they are very harmful to the environment. Studies have shown they have contributed a massive amount of damage to the earth’s ozone layer. That will result in the vulnerability to harmful ultraviolet rays if their use doesn’t stop. Fortunately, manufacturers and governments have listened. Now HCFC-free products and refrigerants, as well as R22 replacements, have been developed as alternatives.
What The R22 Ban Means For Homeowners In New Jersey
If your HVAC system uses R22 refrigerant, and if your air conditioner leaks, it will need to have a refrigerant recharge. Consequently, you will be required to pay high prices for R22 refrigerant. Due to this cost, it may be far more economical to replace your HVAC system.
Also, something to consider is that older air conditioners might be able to still run but at an efficiency that is much lower than in the past. Old air conditioners tend to consume more energy to produce the same desired cooling effect, which spikes monthly utility bills. Their performance will gradually suffer until the A/C unit can no longer cool the space down at all.
In terms of financial consequences, the prices of R-22 will continue to be pushed up by the law of supply and demand. However, before the final deadline of the ban took place, manufacturers were hesitant to make more. They preferred to sell out the stock that they have and then move on and produce other refrigerants. However, everything is not entirely bleak for homeowners. Ceratin perks and tax breaks are available for those who will be replacing their air conditioning units with more eco-friendly models. Be sure to ask PFO Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.
R22 Replacements: Developing R-410A & Other Alternative Refrigerants
Scientists have stepped in to develop viable R-22 alternatives that produce better or the same results without inflicting damage to the ozone layer or other harmful consequences to the environment. One of these alternatives is R-410A. Identifying R-410A cylinders due to their distinct pink color is easy. Honeywell researchers invented the product in 1991. Although the company leads in production, other producers around the world have been licensed. The product doesn’t contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer and is readily available from a majority of HVAC service providers. R-421A is another eco-friendly product that is considered to be the leading refrigerant for the future.
Full AC Upgrades Vs Air Conditioner Retrofits
Even after a tax break, the cost of a full air conditioner upgrade is more than trivial. Many people are considering low-cost options like retrofitting to this dilemma. That option would let them keep their old A/C unit but use a new refrigerant with it. If R-22 is what is causing the problem, then homeowners should be able to get rid of it without having to sacrifice their entire system, right? However, in practice that doesn’t work all that well.
Compared to R22 replacements, R22 runs at a lower pressure. Older air conditioners that have been designed to operate at a low pressure might not be able to handle all of the stress caused by the new change. Problems like refrigerant leaks in the coil and condenser could develop over time, which would leave you with the same problem that you started with.
On the other hand, a full upgrade would guarantee complete compatibility with the new refrigerants. Homeowners can expect that their unit will operate smoothly over its lifetime, which tends to be more than a decade. Doing the math, you will soon realize it is a desirable option. Getting an upgrade done will lower the risk of expensive repairs in the future. An air conditioner replacement improves energy efficiency, due to the most recent technology used in HVAC systems. Incentives and tax breaks can be taken advantage of to offset the cost of an air conditioner replacement.
Consider Replacing Your Cooling And Heating Systems At The Same Time
You may want to consider replacing the cooling and heating systems at once. You can save energy and money that way. It is a course of action that is very sensible if you install the systems at the same time. New HVAC models have better overall real-world performance and specifications.
Meanwhile, combining a new and old system in a house can reduce performance due to mismatched components. Manufacturers might also refuse to honor their warranties on incompatible systems. Don’t be tempted to cut corners. Do the right thing and protect your major investments. Be sure to inquire for more information from PFO Heating & Air Conditioning.
Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For All Of Your HVAC Needs
PFO Heating & Air Conditioning is a dependable HVAC service provider offering affordable heating and cooling services for commercial and residential properties. We take great pride in providing exceptional service for your cooling and heating requirements like maintenance tasks, tune-ups, installation, and repairs.
We outshine our competitors in every aspect with affordable prices, efficient installation, and friendly service.
To learn more about the systems and service we offer, get in touch with PFO Heating & Air Conditioning right away. We can schedule a free consultation with one of our professionals to discuss any concerns you might have and help you find the best and most affordable cooling solutions available. We will take the time to answer all of your questions thoroughly. Call us today!