Dear Customers with A/C units that still use R-22 refrigerant:
Chances are if you’ve had to add refrigerant to your air conditioner in the last few years, you have noticed that the freon prices have increased drastically. It appears that R-22 freon prices in 2018 will continue to rise sharply. The most commonly used refrigerant, R-22, is in short supply due to the freon being phased out over concerns about its negative environmental impact.
In fact, manufacturing of R-22 will cease altogether in 2020 per EPA requirements. That doesn’t mean that homeowners who currently have R-22 systems need to buy a new air conditioner using the new R-410a refrigerant right away. Freon circulates within a closed system so it doesn’t get used up by air conditioning units like a car uses gasoline. It can, however, leak out of the system and that is inevitable in older units. That’s why it is important to have your air conditioner serviced every year. As R-22 freon becomes more scarce, prices will likely continue to skyrocket.
There are some cheaper alternatives on the market, commonly referred to as drop in replacement refrigerants, that aren’t always a good choice. They may not be compatible with the lubrication oil used in R-22 units and loss of efficiency may occur. Our advice at All Seasons is to be proactive and start investigating options for a system upgrade if you are still using R-22. This way, you won’t find yourself trying to make a quick decision when your A/C stops working during extreme temperatures.
Upgrading your air conditioning equipment may not be as painful as you think, especially with the savings associated with higher efficiency systems. Additionally, as well as tax credits available in 2018, many brands offer rebates.
If you have any questions about where your system falls in this equation, please give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.