R22 is a common refrigerant that’s used in the majority of air conditioners and heat pumps in homes across the country today – nearly all of the ones manufactured before 2010. As a result of an international agreement to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals, the federal EPA is forcing a steady reduction in the production of R22 refrigerant over the next eight years, with production stopping altogether in 2020. Read on to better understand how the rising cost of R22 refrigerant will affect your home and your wallet.
With production of R22 – commonly called Freon, one of its brand names – gradually being reduced, the laws of supply and demand are increasing its prices markedly. Some experts are predicting three-fold price increases this summer. The post-2010 cooling equipment operates on a more environmentally benign refrigerant and won’t work with R22. Likewise, the R22 equipment won’t work with replacement refrigerants.
The rising cost of R22 refrigerant means that operating your older air conditioner or heat pump will continue to get more expensive. Topping off the R22 or refilling after leaks are repaired eventually will become cost prohibitive. By 2020, R22 refrigerant will be completely phased out, except for some recycled supplies that likely will be hard to find and expensive.
So what options are available with the rising cost of R22 refrigerant? You’ll likely have two main options – either purchasing a new air conditioner or heat pump, or getting your unit retrofitted to accept other types of refrigerant. If your air conditioner is already old and nearing its end of life, the smart move will be to go ahead and replace it instead of paying the high cost of R22 refrigerant. You’re bound to be replacing your system in a few years anyway. With new high-efficiency cooling equipment, you’ll no longer have to worry about dwindling supplies of R22 and will reap immediate benefits from significantly lower cooling costs.
For more information about how to cope with the R22 refrigerant phase-out, contact the professionals at Cool Power, LLC. We proudly serve Long Island homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the rising cost of R22 refrigerant and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.