by Jonathan Martinez, Owner, Desert Sun Heating, Cooling & Refrigeration, Inc.
There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming legal changes that will be taking effect in the new year that may pertain to your air conditioning system. This change will end manufacturing of R-22 refrigerant.
R-22 is a refrigerant currently used in most systems. If you have a system that is approximately eight years or older, chances are that it has R-22 Freon in it. The problem with R-22 is that when it leaks out into the atmosphere it starts to, little by little, create holes in the ozone layer. Due to this environmental hazard, the transition away from R-22 had to take place.
Any new system that you buy will be designed for use with R-410a refrigerant. This is different than R-22 in that it doesn’t do damage to the ozone layer. It also can affect the performance of a system, as usually the same size A/C will produce slightly less output in BTUs than R-22 systems.
Now what does this all mean? With the changes on no longer manufacturing R-22 this coming year, the only R-22 that will be available is whatever is left in stock or what is reclaimed/recycled. Eventually R-22 is going to get really expensive (more than it already is). The price change won’t be instant but a gradual incline.
This will incentivize homeowners to change out their air conditioning system to the new R-410a. It should be noted that this new law will NOT “force” homeowners to change their systems right away, but more of a long-term transition over several years.
It is recommended if you have a major repair such as a compressor or coil leak, you should be replacing your system.