The R22 Phase Out — What It Means For Your Air Conditioner Homeowners who have older air conditioning systems serving their homes use a type of refrigerant known as HCFC-22, affectionately known to the public as “Freon”. However, government regulations concerning environmental emissions and ozone depletion require the new R410-A type, and there is no retrofit or other modifications that can enable the older systems to work with R410a. As a result, the transition from R22 to R410- A Freon will mean most air conditioners from the last few decades will need to be replaced. R22 Availability The new EPA standards for refrigerant were implemented as part of the Clean Air Act, which is enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By the year 2020, R22 Freon will no longer be manufactured. Between 2015 and 2020, the price of R22 Freon is expected to increase exponentially. As the phase-out deadline nears and available stocks of R22 refrigerant fade, prices are expected to rise even higher. By the rule of simple supply and demand, repair and maintenance costs will definitely increase. In addition to the increased costs for maintaining their existing air conditioners, homeowners must anticipate the intimidating prospect of investing thousands of dollars in a new environmentally compliant cooling system. To take advantage of this situation, homeowners who need to replace their air conditioners should consider it an opportunity to purchase a high- efficiency cooling system. These types of extremely efficient air conditioners tend to be more expensive at first, but they provide significant savings on monthly energy bills. For more information on what the new EPA regulations mean to you, for assistance for making the transition during this period, or for help finding a new high efficiency system that meets required environmental standards, Contact Us today. IMC has over 20 years of experience serving the Atlanta area.
When Should I Replace My Existing Heating Air Conditioning Unit System?
All systems and units are unique to your home. Here are some rough lifespan guidelines to help you decide whether fixing or replacing is the right decision:
Average Lifetime of an Air Conditioner: 12-15 yrs.
Average Lifetime of a Furnace: 15-20 yrs.
Average Lifetime of a Heat Pump: 10-12 yrs.
Keep in mind that these are just guidelines. Some units last longer than that with regular maintenance and replacement of parts. Heat Pumps are a bit shorter simply because they are used all year long. But if a unit has been repaired repeatedly, or has been run excessively, it might make more sense to replace it even sooner. Paying for repairs to an old or inefficient system often simply prolongs the inevitable. An older system that breaks down once is likely to break down again…and again. That means more service calls and more money out your wallet. Some replacement systems can cost less than the cost of repeated repairs. And in many cases, installing a new heating and cooling system can actually pay for itself in energy savings within a relatively short time. Also, when replacing a heater or air conditioner, it is usually best to replace both units at the same time. This way, you’ll save on installation costs and both units can be serviced on the same maintenance schedule and have the same approximate lifespan. Remember, the ultimate decision is your choice and what your budget will allow. At IMC, we specialize in both Heating & AC installations and repair; so whether you need your unit replaced or fixed, we have you covered.