Have an old R-22 heating and air conditioning system? Let’s review your options for the future.
Oh no! Your air conditioning system has been having issues and other companies have told you they don’t have the refrigerant for it. What are you going to do? Well don’t worry we can walk you through some steps. Now, as of January 1 of 2020, the R-22 refrigerant was outlawed. This means that it is no longer being made or distributed. All we can do now is use the existing refrigerant that we have now. With there being in a limited supply the prices of this refrigerant are in fact, going to go up. The options we can let you know about are repairs, retrofit, and replacement.
How do I know if my unit is using R-22?
If you look at the outside panel on your condenser (the big ac unit outside), you will notice a number somewhere in it that indicated whether your heating and air conditioning system runs on R-410A or R-22. R-22 is typically in units that are older than 10+ years.
Why is R-22 not being manufactured anymore?
R-22 is a refrigerant that was first created in the 1950’s. Back then there weren’t as many regulations and standards as there are now, simply due to the fact that there was not enough technology. With more recent testing, it has been ruled that this Freon is actually very harmful to our environment and is an ozone depleting cooling agent. This damage to the ozone layer is non-reversible and is going to hopefully be stopped with the phasing out of R-22 systems and refrigerant. This phase out was mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Read more about this organization and this phase out here.
With all repairs, they’re going to cost you. Now whether it is a large or small amount for the repair depends on the actual repair. Something to do with refrigerant is going to be more expensive than maybe a minor wiring repair. The R22 price per pound will be going up as availability goes down. With our company, you will always know the price upfront before we do any work. This way you, our Odessa, Midland and Permian Basin Customers, will know exactly what you are paying for and there are no surprises when it comes to your bill. This upfront cost includes all parts and labor so, whether it takes our technician one hour to do a job or six hours it’ll be the same price. No hourly rates, yay! The price of repair to leaks are going to be based on the number of pounds of refrigerant used.
With the limited supply of the refrigerant a lot of people are going through what they have and when push comes to shove, reusing R-22 that has been recovered from older units. Now this ban won’t affect homeowners that have a system that runs on R-22, but there will be some challenges when it comes to repairing them. Also, you can only fix something that will inevitably break for so long. This is totally up to the homeowners discretion though, whether they want to repair or go with another option.
Retrofit your System
What does retrofit mean? It means to modify an object, or in this case your system, with an accessory that it did not have when manufactured. So, there is another refrigerant that can actually be put into an R-22 system, but it has its good and bad. This refrigerant has been developed by companies for these older systems. It is supposed to be able to replace existing R-22 in the unit, but there is one thing about it. It has not actually been tested by manufacturers and could potentially void your warranty. So that is something to consider when you are thinking of retrofitting your system. Again, to choose this route is completely up to the homeowner’s discretion.
The choice to upgrade your system at first glance looks costly and drastic. When you think about it in detail though, it could be the best bang for your buck. Imagine how much you’ll spend on putting a band-aid on something that is going to give out soon. In the long run you will be saving more money with a newer system. You won’t have to worry about costly repairs and breakdowns, you’ll have the newer refrigerant, and an up-to-date system. Newer air conditioning systems run on 410-A, which is the preferred cooling agent for systems. With this you’re saving the Ozone layer because this is a chlorine free refrigerant unlike R-22. Prepare for the future and get a peace of mind that you won’t break down in the middle of the Texas summer heat.
If choosing what option works best for you is difficult, get in contact with us and let’s talk about it in detail. Depending on the age of your unit, the problems it is having, and money are just some concerns that we can speak over. Now if you do decide to upgrade, there is new warranties that come with it. When it comes to warranties, HVAC Experts are the best around! Get in touch with us at 432-272-5636. Why call anyone else, when you can call the Experts?