Over the last few years, there has been a lot of discussion around the refrigerant, Freon, also known as R22, typically found in air-conditioning systems manufactured before 2010. As the most critical component of the cooling unit, the availability of Freon impacts the lifeline of your system. However, since several studies proved that Freon was harming the environment, an international agreement, called the Montreal Protocol defined a systematic phase-out of Freon production between 2003 and 2020.
If your current unit uses Freon as its refrigerant, your AC may soon become defunct, even though it has the potential to serve you for several more years. Chances are that you have known about this phase out, and have already upgraded your system. However, if you missed this information before, and feel like you have been caught off-guard, don’t panic! The experts at Comfort Solutions HVAC offer some insights on how to deal with the situation.
Starting January 1, 2020, Freon production has stopped completely. Any production or import is now illegal in the U.S. However, investing in a new AC is neither mandatory, nor the only way forward. Here are some options for you to consider.
Pay More, Retain Existing Unit till End of Life: HVAC maintenance agencies can obtain recycled R22 to service your AC unit and keep it operational. Is this a sustainable option? Yes, if you are willing to pay higher costs for obtaining the recycled stock, as and when your unit requires top-ups. Over time, expect supply to deteriorate and prices to increase.
Replace R22 with R410a (Recommended Refrigerant): Swapping out your air conditioning system’s refrigerant is not easy or cheap. While many fly-by-night HVAC agencies may offer a ‘drop-in’ replacement for R22, there are several system components that also need replacement, in order to make them compatible with the R410a refrigerant. If the coils of your existing AC are well-suited to the new refrigerant, the technician may be able to replace the outdoor unit, without upgrading the remaining components throughout your home.
Refrigerant replacement is an expensive solution, which requires highly qualified, experienced, and reliable HVAC technicians. Remember, this process may void your manufacturer warranty. Moreover, if handled incorrectly, swapping refrigerant can lead to system failures, expensive repairs, or the need for a full and immediate replacement of the entire AC system. If you wish to continue using your existing AC for a few more years, consider replacing R22 with R410a, but be prepared to pay a fairly steep price for it.
Upgrade to a New AC System: The average lifespan of an air conditioning system is around 15 years. If your unit is already over ten years old, why incur additional expenses that nullify its warranty, or only give it a temporary lease of life? Consider upgrading to a new, environment friendly, and energy efficient AC system that gives you a better return on your investment. From reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills, to smart, virtual control thermostats and sleek, space efficient units, enjoy several benefits of investing in a new AC.
At Comfort Solutions HVAC, we offer customized, cost-effective, cooling solutions that suit your requirements and budget. Our skilled and licensed technicians can evaluate your existing AC and help you decide the best course of action to work around the Freon phase out. You can also take advantage of our flexible, affordable schemes to replace your old air conditioning system. We provide systematic installations, and full coverage on repairs and maintenance at reasonable monthly installments.
Have more queries about your Freon-dependent air conditioning system? Reach out to the experts at Comfort Solutions HVAC. Call 610-438-9300 or write to us online.
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