Most homeowners don't know it, but their air conditioner is probably approaching the end of its life cycle. Air conditioners typically need replacement every 10 to 15 years, but if you purchased yours before 2010, it should be replaced before 2020 due to the decision to phase out R-22 refrigerants.
R-22 is one of the most popular and widely used refrigerants in air conditioners. However, as of 2010, the decision was made to no longer use it by the Environmental Protection Agency and to slowly phase it out. Due to the Fluorocarbons and Hydrofluorocarbons that deplete the ozone, use of R-22 is to be phased out completely after 2020 when that last air conditioners using it will be ready to be naturally replaced anyway.
Afterwards, no new R-22 can be produced and any that is needed to make repairs will need to come from previously existing stocks or repurposed from old air conditioners. Air conditioners are built so that they technically do not lose refrigerant over time. The R-22 that is in your air conditioner now should last for its lifetime or longer. Unfortunately, if the unit becomes damaged, it can leak refrigerant and in order to actually cool the air, new refrigerant will need to be added after the leak has been repaired.
So, what does this mean for air conditioning after 2020? Once R-22 is discontinued, air conditioning repair that involves adding new refrigerant to your unit will be vastly more expensive, and eventually, impossible to even do. The good news is that if your air conditioner was manufactured before 2010, it is likely due for replacement by 2020 anyway (by design). If you’re not sure whether your unit is due for replacement by 2020, feel free to ask your JR Perkins Heating & Cooling technician.
While you may not want to replace your air conditioner, it will be beneficial in the long run because a newer air conditioner using other refrigerant alternatives can be more energy efficient and save you money in the long run. Additionally, you’ll be avoiding any harmful effects on the environment that can occur with the use of R-22.
If you have questions about replacing your AC unit, or what this R-22 phaseout means for your HVAC system, feel free to call JR Perkins Heating & Cooling today. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
JR Perkins Heating & Cooling is the first heating and air conditioning company in the East Valley, servicing the Phoenix area, specifically Scottsdale. To learn more, please visit our website at www.JRPerkins.com.