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The Ban of R-22 Refrigerant

As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, R22 refrigerant has become illegal to manufacturer in the United States starting January 1, 2020. R-22 is an HCFC refrigerant that is often used in air-conditioning equipment. To protect the Earth’s protective ozone layer, the United States is phasing out R-22, along with other chemicals. The stratospheric ozone layer shields the Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Emissions of certain synthetic chemicals—including CFCs, halons, and HCFCs—destroy the ozone layer, and have created an “ozone hole” over the South Pole.

Since the production of R-22 has stopped, it has become much more difficult (and expensive) to get R22. As a result, repairing older R22 systems will become very expensive when the repair requires adding refrigerant to the system. As the United States phases out refrigerant R-22, you will need to make informed choices when servicing, repairing, or replacing an existing air-conditioning unit or when purchasing a new unit. Being a homeowner, you need to consider and balance several key factors in your decision to purchase a new unit, such as energy efficiency, performance, reliability, cost, and the refrigerant used.

Except for some simple electrical issues, many types of emergency repairs do require recharging refrigerant. If you’ve been getting by with an air conditioner that’s leaking refrigerant by periodically adding more R22 refrigerant (which we DO NOT recommend), that will become cost-prohibitive and now is the time to figure out your plan for replacing the system.

New energy efficient air conditioners save energy costs. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save significantly on your energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Energy efficiency is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the ratio, the more efficient the equipment. A central air-conditioner that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label is at least 14% more efficient than a standard new system and can save you money on your cooling bill. Call Kings to learn more!