Air conditioning units rely on a refrigerant which cools the air and makes your home comfortable during the hot season. Most people are not really keen on this refrigerant as all they want to experience is the comfort and nothing else. However, there have been concerns over the refrigerant being used for the past few years and how it affects the environment. The most common choice for residential and commercial air conditioning systems has always been R-22, which has been in use for over the past five decades. In the year 2010, the government rolled out a clear timeline to allow users to adjust to the new options being brought in as the sale and importation of R-22 will be completely illegal by 2020.
Well, you are just a consumer who needs to keep your home cool during the summer and probably have no interest in the sale and importation of R-22, but does this phasing out affect you? It definitely does, since you will be forced to adjust your air conditioning options currently and in future. In this piece, we will look at how this phasing out of the R-22 refrigerant will affect you like the ordinary consumer and what you may be forced to do to remain the safe side.
Cost Of The Refrigerant
The refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioner system, and its levels should remain in check for your system to work optimally. If you have had an expert come over to inspect your system, one of the things that they must have checked is the level of this refrigerant. If you have a system running on r-22, you might argue that you can still use it safely even after the phasing out of the coolant before being forced to buy a new system that uses a new refrigerant. Well, note that you may be required to refill the refrigerant over the course of time and be expected to dig deeper into your pocket for it if you will even be able to get it past 2020. The laws of demand and supply apply and as we approach the first day of 2020, expect the supply of this refrigerant to dwindle. The reduced demand means that the prices will increase, and it may be overly expensive to refill your aircon system. The limitation has not been done abruptly as the government had limited the manufacturing and importation to 18 million pounds in 2016, 13 million in 2017 and 9 million in 2018. Expect it to be lower next year and the price will increase as well. Due to this, you will have a hard time trying to replace and refill your refrigerant over time.
The ban on R-22 does not mean that you can’t get an air conditioner unit. Some new models have been proposed, and they are safer to the ozone layer. One of the most common one that is a blend of HFCs is known as R-410, and it will be the one used on your air conditioner system. Now, you may be forced to look out to these alternatives as time moves on especially if your system is R-22 based. If you are lucky to have bought an R-410 system, you have nothing to worry about as its supply will gradually increase over time and you won’t have a hard time accessing it. However, some systems that are fixed on the R-22 may not be used anymore, and it might be prudent for owners to invest in newer systems before the maintenance costs start rising exponentially.
Servicing Existing Units
Meanwhile, existing units can be services using their current refrigerant as there has been no regulation that directs people to change or convert their systems to the ones using the new coolant. In most cases, the R-22 based units cannot be services with the r-410A refrigerant due to the specifications of these two refrigerants. The R-410 calls that air conditioners operate at higher pressures and this might call for an entire redesign of the compressor, coil and refrigerant ducts, something that is very hectic and close to impossible based on how the systems are designed. The R-410 needs some special lubricants for the compressor and using it service the R-22 systems will lead to a whole lot of compatibility issues. All these issues come into play, and they give consumers something to think about moving forward. It has been mentioned that the prices of servicing a system using R-22 have tripled since the ban was passed in 2010 and the best thing is to shift to the R-410 based systems whose servicing price has been seen to stagnate due to the increased demand.
All said it might be time to say goodbye to your old system and you need to find an energy efficient one. When selecting a particular model, ensure that you get one with an Energy Star label and a high SEER specification which indicates how efficient the equipment is. Since the year 2020 is just around the corner, you should not make it hard for the government to phase out the environmentally harmful system and choose one that is environment-friendly. Keep in mind that the R-410 is not the only environment-friendly refrigerant around and there are other options to look out for. It is prudent to do some digging on the possibilities at stake so that you select one that will not give you a hard time going forward.
It is evident that the phasing out of the R-22 air conditioner refrigerant will have a massive impact on the consumers. All you have to do is to inspect your system and check out whether it is based on r-22 or not. You might be panicking and find out that it is based on a more environmentally friendly coolant. If your system is based on R-22, keep in mind that you are not being forced to change to another model but after 2020, you won’t be able to find the r-22 at your HVAC supplies store, and you will probably be forced to buy a new system altogether, and find tdx 20 for sale.