Obsolescence is a real threat to air conditioners using R22 refrigerant, which was deemed illegal at the beginning of this year. Owners who need an R22 recharge for their cooling system will have to pay an exorbitant amount. Knowing more about the regulations and the methods for determining R22 refrigerant usage will help you make the right decisions for your equipment should your system leak.
Regardless, it is best to discontinue using obsolete air conditioning equipment. If you cling to an old cooling system, then you are likely to run into problems such as insufficient cooling, prohibitive repair rates, and soaring energy consumption.
Since aging R-22 air conditioners will cost a fortune to repair if they experience a coolant leak, you will have to make an important decision: repair or replace.
This government-led phase-out has deeply affected the market. The supply has declined while the demand has risen. This situation has pushed the cost of the R22 refrigerant to almost unreachable levels. A simple recharge will now be equivalent to half of a modern replacement cooling system. Most HVAC experts believe that replacing the unit is the smart choice if you wish to save money.
- 1 Determining If R22 Refrigerant Is Present In Air Conditioners
- 1.1 1. Look For The Manufacturing Date Of The Cooling Equipment
- 1.2 2. Look For The Date Of Installation For The Air Conditioner
- 1.3 3. Study The System Specifications As Listed By The Manufacturer
- 1.4 4. Talk To The Company That Manufactured Your Cooling System
- 1.5 5. Hire An HVAC Contractor For Air Conditioner Service
- 1.6 Things To Remember About The R22 Phaseout
- 1.7 AC Choices For Affected Homeowners
- 1.8 Conclusion
Steps To Take In Solving Your Cooling Issues
To know what your options are, you have to determine whether your air conditioner has the R22 refrigerant. Check out the manufacturing date as this will serve as an important clue. If it was made after 2010, then you are in the clear. This unit will probably contain the alternative refrigerant called R-410A, or Puron. If it was made before that year, then you are probably dealing with R22 as well. The type of coolant inside the system will dictate the viable choices for the household.
Not all aging air conditioners perform poorly, and those that still run well can probably run for a few more years. However, knowing the inevitable, it would be prudent to prepare for an air conditioner upgrade soon.
Below is a discussion of methods that can be applied when figuring out the type of refrigerant inside a cooling unit. Important details about the R22 phaseout will also be covered.
Determining If R22 Refrigerant Is Present In Air Conditioners
1. Look For The Manufacturing Date Of The Cooling Equipment
Figuring out the presence of the R22 refrigerant is not that hard. For example, you can check the manufacturing date and make reasonable assumptions from there. You should be able to find the information you need on the data plate. The air handler and the condenser are the most common spots for this. Air conditioners made before 1996 will, no doubt, be using R22 as it was the industry standard at the time. After that, R22 remained dominant, but HVAC manufacturers started to transition to R-410A. Units made between 1996 and 2009 will this have to undergo further examination. By 2010, the whole industry completed the shift to R-410A.
2. Look For The Date Of Installation For The Air Conditioner
If you remember when the unit was installed, then you can use that information to identify the refrigerant. It was deemed illegal to install R22-dependent air conditioners starting in 2010. As long as yours was put in place after that year, then you should not have anything to worry about.
3. Study The System Specifications As Listed By The Manufacturer
Basing the refrigerant on dates is alright but it would be better if you could have a more substantial reference. For example, the type of refrigerant is usually listed on the unit’s specifications. See if the nameplate of your unit contains this. You might also find a sticker that certifies the absence of R22 for newer units. This is a good sign so be sure to look for it.
4. Talk To The Company That Manufactured Your Cooling System
Sometimes the nameplate will go missing. Even if you find it, the letters might already be faded. There should be no worries though as you can always go back to the source for information. The manufacturer will have a database of all the models it produced. Just tell them about your unit. They should be able to answer your questions.
5. Hire An HVAC Contractor For Air Conditioner Service
If you are faced with an unresponsive manufacturer, then make the most of your local HVAC experts. The next time they visit your home for maintenance or repairs is the perfect opportunity to ask about the refrigerant.
Every NATE-certified technician knows how to extract this information. You should have your answer in no time at all. They can quickly identify the make, the model, and the refrigerant type.
For experienced and affordable HVAC services, be sure to call McAllister Energy today!
Things To Remember About The R22 Phaseout
The slow and steady R-22 phaseout has been in motion for many years, with its final stage ending on January 1, 2020. The EPA has ruled that using R22-dependent system is not illegal. Only the substance itself is being banned. Still, this situation has resulted in prohibitive prices for the refrigerant. Manufacturers no longer can make it, and people are lining up to get it. You would have to pay roughly half the price of a new energy-efficient AC unit for a simple R-22 recharge.
AC Choices For Affected Homeowners
Homeowners who are dealing with an air conditioner that is using R22 should seriously consider a replacement. After all, an air conditioner that uses r22 refrigerant is probably very old by now. It is due for retirement with its multiple failures, worsening inefficiency, and poor performance. Replacing the existing cooling system with a new one with advanced features will make a world of difference.
Doing so will save you from paying a large amount of money to fix leaks. You do not need to spend a fortune each time this happens. With a modern energy-efficient unit, you should be able to enjoy low monthly bills and vastly reduced repair expenditures. Get the best possible results by hiring a respected cooling contractor for the job.
The air conditioner installation should not be a problem since the majority of HVAC companies provide financing options to their clients. For those who cannot pay the full amount right away, affordable payment plans can be set up to make immediate replacement a reality.
McAllister Energy is a highly respected name in the HVAC industry with reasonably priced services for every customer. Whether you are a homeowner or business owner, you can depend on our excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, and installations.
Our team beats the competitors in all aspects of the business from pricing to customer service. If you would like to learn more, then schedule an appointment for your free consultation. Give McAllister Energy a call today!