Maybe you’ve been on the edge of your seat keeping up with the fascinating developments in air conditioning refrigerant. Maybe not. Well, we have news for you: Refrigerant is changing and you don’t want to be left behind when it happens. Refrigerant’s the critical substance in your air conditioner that actually moves heat out of your house. Circulating continuously between the indoor and outdoor units of your central air conditioning system, refrigerant absorbs heat at the indoor evaporator coil, conveys it outside to the condenser coil, then disperses the heat into the outside air. No refrigerant—no cool comfort.
What’s Wrong With R-22?
For decades, the standard A/C refrigerant was type R-22. However, research linked it to environmental issues such as deterioration of the ozone layer. A joint international agreement was reached to remove all R-22 from the market by 2020. We’re drawing close to that phaseout date and, already, all new air conditioners on the market today are engineered to use only the new, environmentally harmless refrigerant, R-410A.
What’s It To You?
The approaching total ban on R-22 has both immediate and longer-term consequences. Here’s a rundown of what you need to know.
- Don’t even think about it. You can’t use R-410A in your old air conditioner designed for R-22.
- As manufacturing of R-22 is being reduced in stages, the soon-to-be prohibited refrigerant is necessarily getting very expensive and even scarce. During times of high demand for new stock—such as during the summer cooling season— R-22 spot shortages may become more frequent. Should you need repair work on your old-school R-22 unit, you may pay a very high price for this refrigerant or even have to wait until it’s available.
- If you are facing repairs on an R-22 air conditioning system right now—or are likely to in the future, as the unit inevitably ages—consider the outlook. Investing in costly repairs for an obsolete A/C that will soon have no available refrigerant supply isn’t a financially viable strategy. Instead, think about making the change now to a new unit that has a plentiful supply of affordable—and environmentally friendly—R-410A refrigerant today and for the future.
- Still more good news: Your new R-410A air conditioner will also almost certainly be more energy-efficient—lowering operating costs—and offer better cooling performance than the old clunker it replaces.
If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “5 Common Air Conditioning Issues to Look Out For.”
North County Plumbing is located in Vista, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services…with no overtime charges!