R-22 Vs. 410A

Do you have an older system in need of repair? Be sure to consider these key facts.

Know the facts before you spend your hard-earned money. Education is key when deciding to fix or buy new when dealing with any expensive purchase. R-22 refrigerant is in the process of being completely phased out of the HVAC industry, just as many other refrigerants have been in the past. Just as most modern technologies in all fields have rapidly evolved since they have come around, cooling refrigerants have evolved similarly over the years with the help of technology and educational growth of using these products over the years. It has been found that early refrigerants were extremely bad for the environment, particularly to the ozone. R-22 was rated with an “ozone depletion level” of 0.05. While 410A was rated with a depletion level of 0. Before R-22 the refrigerant used was called “R-12” with an ozone depletion level of 1.0. This is the main factor for the constant drive to make less harsh refrigerants over the years. This is what led the EPA to begin the phase-out of R-22 in 2004. This led to a 3-step phase-out for about the next 30 years to follow. In the year of 2010, all new air conditioning equipment now was no longer allowed to be built to run with R-22 and was fully replaced with 410A. Now with just a few months left in 2019, we are about to cross into the second main step of the phase-out in 2020. As of January 1st, 2020 it will now become illegal for anyone to produce R-22. Followed by the last step in 2030 when the complete phase-out of this refrigerant will be completed. But what does this mean for the homeowner? Well first off as it is now R-22 is extremely expensive ranging anywhere from $100 to $140 a pound. Compared to 410A that is currently costing $50-$60 per pound. With the cut off of the production of R-22 it can be expected to spike up even higher in cost in the near future. With most systems that still use R-22 being produced in 2004 or later this leaves the homeowner with a decision to make when it comes to making repairs to these systems. In many cases a system that breaks down can get fixed to the point of running again, however, this does not mean that the system is going to run for another five years, five months or five days. With refrigerant leaks in older systems typically forming in either the indoor coil or outdoor compressor, it cannot ever be guaranteed that a system will hold new refrigerant needed to make a system cool. On top of that parts for older systems can be costly and hard to come by. In many cases, the repairs and cost of this older refrigerant can cost about half of the cost of just purchasing a brand new system and bring that system up to code. When buying anything that costs thousands it is important to make sure you make the best and most educated decision. These are just some important things to know and consider. If you currently do own a system using R-22 refrigerant it is a good idea to start the process of a system replacement. However, in the case that you do indeed have an R-22 system currently working in a good state with a warranty, keep it. It is a wise move to hold on to that system till that warranty expires or you are in a good financial position to buy a new system. If you find yourself being told anything different than this by an HVAC company be cautious. There is the potential they may be using the R-22 phase out to make fast cash. Be sure to do business with a company that puts the homeowner’s needs first and explores all potential options for each situation and is not just out to make a fast dollar. At Browning Heating and Air we make sure to offer all possibility and options. The most important thing to us is a happy homeowner. If you live in the Gainesville Florida area feel free to give us a call to explore your options.

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