A decade-old air conditioning system or heat pump is likely to still have R-22 refrigerant, which is an ozone-depleting substance that was put out of production two years ago. Continue reading as we discuss what this means for you if you have older equipment.
About R-22 Refrigerant
HVAC systems, particularly the ones mentioned above, use a type of refrigerant to generate warm or cool air. R-22, which is also known as HCFC-22 and by the brand name Freon®, is the one that is most popularly used. It has been banned in new systems since 2010 because of its negative environmental impact. By 2020, R-22 was no longer in production.
If your heat pump or AC still has R-22, you can continue using it for the rest of the equipment’s lifespan, provided that there is not a refrigerant leak. Should this be the case, your HVAC technician will have to “recharge” (or refill) the system’s refrigerant levels. But because of the dwindling supply of R-22 brought about by the phaseout, expect this to come with a high price tag.
What Are Your Options?
You have three options when it comes to this situation:
- Keep it well-maintained. You can still get many more years out of your heat pump or AC unit as long as you schedule regular maintenance checks. However, this will not prevent the need to eventually replace the entire unit.
- Replace the refrigerant. Some HVAC systems can be retrofitted with a converter that allows them to use another type of refrigerant like R-410A, also known as Puron®. It is not the most cost-effective option, however, because of the parts and labor involved.
- Replace the HVAC system entirely. This might be the best and most cost-effective of all three options. In addition to the fact that it uses a non-R-22 refrigerant, a new HVAC system has other benefits, including enhanced features, improved efficiency and long-term performance.
Superior Air is an HVAC company you can trust for all your heating, cooling and indoor air quality needs. Call us at (559) 734-2002 or fill out our contact form for estimates and technical support. We serve residents of Visalia, CA, and its surrounding communities.