R-22 – Countdown to Phase Out 1/1/2020
The Clock is Ticking – What’s Your Plan?
If your AC uses the refrigerant known as R-22, it is time to plan your replacement strategy. If you have to add refrigerant to your AC unit, then your time may be up this year.
Because of Environmental Protection Agency concerns about R-22 effects on the ozone, it will not be produced after January 1, 2020, and the only way to acquire it will be through recycled or stockpiled supplies which will be prohibitively expensive to purchase. The price of R-22 has been increasing steadily over the last few years already, which has made R-22 AC systems too expensive to continue to run, making replacement the more affordable option.
The last AC units using R-22 were manufactured in 2010. So if your AC unit is one of these, it is already old enough to consider replacement. If your AC uses R-22 refrigerant and you’ve had to add refrigerant recently, then it is time to replace your AC system. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up – the only time you have to add refrigerant is if you have a leak. And if you have a leak, you will have to add more and more refrigerant each year.
Refrigerant leaks happen to all units eventually as they age. Refrigerant circulates under high pressure and therefore wears down and thins the inside of the tubing. Because AC units last only 10 – 15 years on average, it is time for your R-22 unit to be replaced, especially if it is leaking refrigerant.
How Do I Know if my AC Unit uses R-22?
Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. Age of the system is one determinant – no R-22 units were manufactured after 2010. But R-410A units have been manufactured since 1996, so just because your unit is old it doesn’t mean that it uses R-22.
Can I Wait One More Year?
Making a choice to wait will also put you in the same boat as all of the others who are waiting until the last minute, and prices for new AC systems go up when demand is high. And even if you are lucky enough to get a reasonably-priced replacement unit, the wait for available technicians to install it might be long. And the last thing you want to do is be faced with weeks without air conditioning during the summer heat.
What if I Can’t Afford to Replace Right Now?
Replacing a central AC unit can cost thousands of dollars, more than many of us have saved up. This is where financing comes in. Fortunately, there is financing available for just about any credit score. Click here to review the many financing options available through Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling: https://www.anthonyphc.com/financing/.
Rebates from energy companies can also help financially. KCPL offers rebates when you purchase energy-efficient AC systems installed by authorized contractors like Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. For more information on rebate programs, call our us at Anthony or click here: https://www.kcpl.com/save-energy-and-money/home/rebates/heating-and-cooling.
The one bright side to incurring an extra monthly expense through financing is the reduction of energy costs that you will receive when a new unit is doing the cooling, which will help offset this expense. New AC units outperform old units significantly, no matter what their Energy Star rating is. And you will no longer have costly repair bills to pay either.