It might still feel like spring now, but the hot summer days are fast approaching! And while it’s always nice to soak up the sun outside, we definitely want to keep cool indoors. For that, an efficient AC unit is key. Your annual maintenance plan appointment can help make sure everything is running smoothly. But what about those older air conditioning units?
By now, you may have heard about the refrigerant phaseout for certain HVAC systems. If you’re worried about what that means for you and your home, we’ve got the answers.
About the R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout
Regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are now in effect for one of the most common ozone-depleting substances: HCFC-22, otherwise known as R-22 refrigerant. This phaseout means that no one in the country can manufacture R-22. It also means that this type of refrigerant is going to be harder and harder to find. And as the supply continues to dwindle, the product is only expected to get more and more expensive. An honest assessment of your current HVAC setup can help ensure you don’t end up wasting money.
How Will Homeowners Be Affected?
If you have a newer AC unit installed, this phaseout shouldn’t have any impact on your future repair or maintenance needs. But homeowners with older systems should definitely take note. Systems that are over 10 years old are probably still using the R-22 refrigerant. So you’ll want to be aware of the coming changes.
The good news is that you can still run your air conditioner or heat pump like normal if it uses R-22. You can even get regular AC repair services for these older units. Just know that if refrigerant is required, those repairs will likely be quite expensive. This goes back to the supply-demand dilemma. Now that production has stopped with R-22, it may not be the best idea to move forward with every repair. Some homeowners want to keep their system for as long as possible, and that’s okay! But if you have to rely on R-22 for a major repair, it might be time to look into options for a more cost-effective AC unit.
AC Repair vs New Unit Replacement
Although the HVAC industry technology continues to get more efficient year after year, no unit can last forever. Facts are facts. Systems that have been running for more than 10 years have a higher chance of running into problems. Regular maintenance can help extend the timeline for some equipment, but those repair costs can also add up fast. Knowing when to upgrade to a more reliable system can help keep your budget in-check.
Homeowners generally find that it doesn’t make sense to put a bunch of money into an older system that is out of warranty. If your equipment is still using R-22 refrigerant without any problems, then by all means, keep it up! But if you know your system has been struggling, it’s a good idea to start budgeting for a new system sooner rather than later.
There are actually a lot of rebates available right now to help you get a solid deal on your home’s new investment. If you’d like to start running the numbers, we’re here to help. We know that weighing the pros and cons of replacing your air conditioner can be confusing and even overwhelming at times, but the more you know, the better off you’ll be. Whether you’re looking for a second opinion or you just hoping to get through another summer with your existing unit, our team can work with you to get the repairs and professional insights you need.