R-22 Phase-out: Why You Need to Plan for When It’s Gone

The phaseout of ozone-depleting R-22 refrigerant is continuing, and you may have noticed that you paid more to have your air conditioning system charged during your spring tune-up. You can expect the price to go up even more as supplies get shorter. Eventually, virgin R-22 won’t be available at all.

If you’ve been unaware of the phaseout, here are the basics:

The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty signed by the United States, established that R-22 refrigerant would be phased out over a several-year period. In the United States, production will be ceased entirely in 2020. This year, production is limited to 39 million pounds, which is not enough to meet demand. In many areas of the country, the cost of recharging a system has risen tenfold in just three years. R-22 is being replaced with a more planet-friendly refrigerant, R-410A.

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your air conditioning system, the phaseout of R-22 could be just the motivation that you need. The federal government is offering a tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of a high-efficiency system. The tax credit, which was restored at the beginning of the year, will expire at the end of December. The credit and the energy savings a new system affords could mean a relatively quick payback on your investment.

Although some HVAC companies are offering one or more alternative refrigerants for use in older systems, they can compromise performance and even void a warranty. A better alternative could well be moving up the replacement of your older system. By replacing your system sooner, rather than later, you won’t have to worry about R-22 availability. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re shrinking your carbon footprint, and you’ll have the energy savings afforded by a higher-efficiency system.

If you’ve decided that replacement is the way to go, call the Beyer Boys. Our experts have been providing complete HVAC services to homeowners in the San Antonio community since 1990.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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