Your air conditioner is a complex machine that is made of many different parts and it takes a combination of things to make it work efficiently. Hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs) are chemicals that are used as refrigerants inside of your air conditioner and R-22 is the most commonly used HCFC refrigerant used. However, these chemicals are very bad for the environment and if they are released into the environment they can contribute to climate change and destruction of the Earth’s ozone layer.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is now phasing out the use of R-22 and other chemicals that cause damage to the environment. As of 2020, no R-22 will be produced or imported. After that time, R-22 supplies will become more limited and servicing machines with this chemical could be more expensive.
What should you do?
First, make sure to stay on top of maintenance for your air conditioning unit. Preventative maintenance will ensure that there are no broken parts, but it will also ensure that there are no leaks that could be causing damage to the Earth.
Second, know that it’s not mandatory to stop using the system that uses R-22, but knowing that it is being phased out by 2020 will allow homeowners to replace this existing equipment and install new systems that are energy efficient and do not cause harm to the environment.
Third, if your system is decades old and it’s not reliable, chances are, it needs to be replaced at some point soon. Replacing it with a new energy efficient air conditioner will save money on energy costs and you’ll know you will be doing your part by utilizing a machine that doesn’t use harsh, harmful chemicals. New systems with the Energy Star® label can be approximately 14% more efficient than systems that do not have this marker. When you’re doing your research on new systems that are available, be sure to read what kind of refrigerant they use. There are a variety of alternative refrigerants such as R-410A that do not contribute to ozone depletion.
If you have questions about your current system and if it uses R-22 or not, we can help. We’ll take a look and advise you on how you should proceed. If a new system is needed, we’ll talk to you about which system is right for you and your home’s unique layout. Contact us today for a free appointment.