R-22 Refrigerant Supplies Continue to Dry up--Is Now the Time for That A/C Replacement?The world of refrigerants is undergoing a change. Due to environmental concerns of ozone depleting chlorine in R-22, systems using this refrigerant are being phased out. In compliance with the Clean Air Act, R-22 will no longer be in production by 2020, and this year’s supplies have been significantly reduced. With supplies drying up, A/C companies are advising customers to begin looking beyond R-22 as this refrigerant is no longer a long-term alternative. Now is the time to start considering the issues that will affect your replacement options:  

  • Availability
    2013 allocation of R-22 is currently set to be 39 million pounds, close to 30 percent less new R-22 than last year. This is a significant reduction from the 55 million pounds allocated in 2012 and 100 million pounds in 2011. Less availability is also raising the price of this refrigerant.
  • Budget
    If your existing R-22 unit needs replacement but your checkbook is a little light, consider a new dry-charged unit, which utilizes your system’s existing R-22 refrigerant supplies.
  • Installation
    Be sure to employ a licensed, certified technician as improper installation of new systems can result in lost efficiency and damage. Have your technician ensure your indoor and outdoor unit are properly matched and if combining with an older air handler that it will function with R-410A.
  • Alternatives
    Currently the best alternative to R-22 is R-410A. R-410A is a new, ozone-friendly, chlorine-free refrigerant used by newer, higher-efficiency heating and air systems. Upgrading your A/C system sooner rather than later offers many benefits: lower bills, comfort and convenience, better air quality, environmental, and possible energy tax credits. Recovering existing R-22 refrigerant supplies for recycling and reuse is also an option; however, with dwindling supply and rising costs, planning ahead now to reduce your dependence is your best bet.
  • Retrofitting
    R-410A cannot be used with systems made to run with R-22 refrigerant. Doing so may cause system damage.  

Get prepared for the phase-out of R-22 refrigerant supplies by contacting Wolff Mechanical. Wolff Mechanical is a full service-HVAC provider for Central Arizona offering highly trained, NATE certified technicians and all brands of heating and cooling units.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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