As a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act, a particular type of refrigerant known as R-22 is currently being phased out worldwide. The elimination of R-22 (also called Freon) is considered an Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS), which has been banned from production as of January 1, 2020. However, for those who already use R-22 refrigerant to cool their homes, there are a few options.
The ban of R-22 is not immediate. As a part of the phase-out, it can still be sold, even though it is not currently in production. However, this has caused the price of R-22 to increase significantly as the remaining quantities are limited.
R-22, or Freon, is used in almost all HVAC units that were installed prior to 2010. That means it’s highly likely that yours uses this refrigerant which will soon be off the market. This means your HVAC unit will need an alternative.
The good news is that you should only need to add freon to your HVAC in the event of a refrigerant leak. It’s not needed as a part of general maintenance. R-22’s main purpose is to help make the air colder, so if your air is feeling warmer than it should, that might be a sign that you are low on Freon.
If you aren’t ready to replace your entire system but are low on Freon, you might consider what’s called a “drop-in” refrigerant. This is an alternative that is more environmentally friendly, and less expensive as well. This is a good temporary solution for most older HVAC units, provided that they are compatible with a “drop-in” replacement.
Another possible option is R-207c refrigerant, which will save some money but can ultimately cause your unit to love efficiency and life expectancy.
In reality, freon replacements are only a good fit for HVAC units of a specific age. If your unit is between 12 and 15 years old and seems to be low on Freon, you are probably better off replacing the entire system. This does bring increased upfront costs, but the efficiency and quality of a new state-of-the-art system will not only save you on monthly electric bills, but it will also provide peace of mind about not having heating and cooling issues in the future.
WORTH THE CALL
If your HVAC unit needs a tune-up, refrigerant replacement, or a brand new system, let The Bosworth Company help you. Our certified professionals can find the solution that fits your home and budget. Call us today at (432) 570-5233 or make an appointment online. It’s Worth the Call. Always.