R22 refrigerant is the most common refrigerant on the market. In the United States, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are regulated as class I or class II controlled substances.
Class I substances have a higher ozone depletion potential and have been completely phased out in the U.S.; with a few exceptions, this means no one can produce or import class I substances. Class II substances are all hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are transitional substitutes for many class I substances. New production and import of most HCFCs will be phased out by 2020. The most common HCFC in use today is HCFC-22 or R-22, a refrigerant still used in existing air conditioners and refrigeration equipment.
If your air conditioning system has a refrigerant leak, it is rather expensive to simply add the refrigerant in the system and get by another season. Because there is less of the product on the market, the prices have sky rocketed. Real cost-effective “drop-in” refrigerants do not exist at this time. Plus, most of the equipment that is utilizing R22 refrigerant, is over 10 years old and out of any manufacturer warranties.
What Should You Do Next?
Have proper maintenance to your air conditioning system. Proper maintenance will extend the life of your current AC system.
You may continue to have your equipment containing R-22 serviced. Tiger Services can still service and repair AC equipment containing R-22.
The most important thing you can do is to maintain your unit properly. Appropriate servicing minimizes potential environmental damage and maintenance costs. Tiger Services offers an amazing program to help keep your unit running with several discounts along the way.
It is important to select a reliable service contractor. Technicians must have EPA Section 608 certification to service equipment containing R-22. Tiger Services has technicians with the proper certifications to service systems still using R-22.
Request that service technicians locate and repair leaks instead of “topping off” leaking systems. This protects the ozone layer and saves you money by optimizing the performance of your existing equipment.
It is illegal to intentionally release any refrigerant when making repairs. Technicians must use refrigerant recovery equipment during service.
Replace your air conditioning system and convert over to the new refrigerant.
EPA has prohibited the manufacture of new air-conditioning systems that use R-22.
Systems that use alternative refrigerants that do not harm the ozone layer are available and will become more common. Tiger Services offers many affordable packages.
New energy efficient air conditioners save energy costs. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save significantly on your energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
Energy efficiency is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the ratio, the more efficient the equipment.
A central air-conditioner that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label is at least 14% more efficient than a standard new system and can save you money on your cooling bill.
ENERGY STAR® qualified systems are available for both R-22 and alternative (R-410A) systems. Tiger Services can install either type of system to help save you money.
Dates to Remember
HCFC-22 (also called R-22) and HCFC-142b are the next two HCFCs that the United States will phase out. The schedule to phase out HCFCs is:
January 1, 2020
Ban on remaining production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b. After 2020, the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities
January 1, 2030
Ban on remaining production and import of all HCFCs
MORE INFORMATION: https://www.epa.gov/ods-phaseout
For more information on the R-22 phase-out, call Tiger Services Air Conditioning & Heating today at (210) 344-0060.