The Hazards of R-22 & Why You Need a New Unit
Is the air conditioning unit in your home more than 10 years old? If so, chances are high that it uses R-22 or “Freon” as its refrigerant. While you probably don’t spend too much time pondering refrigerant, it’s definitely time to pay attention to R-22 if you have a unit that uses it and understand why it’s critical to start considering a replacement.
R-22 is an Environmental Menace
Scientists have known for decades that R-22 plays a significant role in the depletion of the ozone layer. For that reason, the Montreal Protocol was established in 1987. The protocol laid out a timeline for phasing out R-22 in the following years. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the manufacture of new equipment that would use R-22 but allowed people to continue to use and seek maintenance for their R-22 units. That meant there were still ways to obtain the refrigerant if a unit needed repair or maintenance.
Because of its dangerous nature, the EPA altered how R-22 was handled, officially labeling it hazardous waste. During this period, it became mandatory for repair technicians to obtain an EPA certification to work on R-22 units.
The Next Stage of the Ban
As of January 1, 2020, the Freon ban is now comprehensive. Companies are no longer allowed to produce R-22, or even import it into the United States, under any circumstances. Any repairs and maintenance must be completed using repurposed or recycled R-22. What does that mean for homeowners? The answer comes down to two inconvenient truths:
- As the supply of R-22 dwindles with no ability to replace it, the costs will continue to climb until it becomes completely unaffordable and obsolete.
- The last systems to use R-22 are getting older and older, meaning they are more likely to spring a leak or need other maintenance.
These two factors make it extremely impractical, and soon impossible, to try and patch up your AC unit if it’s running on this old type of refrigerant. If you go this route, you’ll find yourself repeatedly paying high costs to keep the unit running at all.
Rather than keep pouring into a sunken cost, avoid wasting your money and fighting a losing battle by shopping for a new air conditioner or heat pump system instead. Not only will you gain many more options for repairs at lower prices should you need them, but today’s AC systems are also far more energy-efficient and you’ll notice the difference in your energy bills.
Ready to replace your old AC unit? Let Blind & Sons help!
Contact our team of experts to get the process rolling, and we’ll help you find the perfect cooling system to meet your home’s needs and save you money on utility costs! Call us at (330) 753-7711 today!