If your Air Conditioning (AC) was installed before 2010, then, it’s no doubt that R22 sounds familiar to you, right? Well, just in case it doesn’t, at least you know that refrigerant is what makes the air coming out of the air conditioning system cool. If you know that, then R22 is a type of refrigerant!
AC refrigerant was introduced in the 1950’s. After its introduction, it became the primary AC refrigerant in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry. Although the technology was a great milestone in the industry, it also had its downside; it was discovered that R22 was a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) which had a great impact in the depletion of the ozone layer. Well, this was discovered when the issue of ozone layer depletion came to the attention of most nations. To minimize the impact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), other institutions and agencies came to a consensus that the ozone-depleting materials needed to be done away with with time. It was at this time when R22 was listed among these materials, be sure to remove R22 through Bluon Energy.
The parties agreed that by the beginning of 2010, the importation or manufacture of R22 would be banned, at least in the United States. For the R22 refrigerants that were on sale, an allowance period of 5 years was issued which meant that no R22 was expected to be on sale by January 2015. It was also stipulated that by the year 2020, the R22 refrigerant would no longer be used in the US, well, that is roughly a year from now! So, why is R22 so expensive? Well, the issue of supply and demand comes in. Since neither production nor importation of R22 refrigerants is in practice, this translates to a low supply. This means that those interested in buying the refrigerant have to fight for the scarce resource. Not a physical fight, but a fight where the highest bidder emerges the winner! This explains why the price of the refrigerant has been increasing since the year 2010.
What next if your AC system uses the R22 Refrigerant? Just in case you fall a victim of the EPA rules and regulations on refrigerants, then, you have a number of options;
1. Purchase a new AC system. Although it is the most expensive option, it is the best way that will give you a long-term peace of mind. However, before purchasing the new AC system, ensure that it is approved as environmentally-clean to avoid incurring other costs in the future.
2. Use recycled R22 refrigerant. This is yet another option you may choose to deal with the scarcity. It is cheaper than making a new purchase. However, this will not provide a long term solution since by the start of January 2020 you will have to completely switch from the use of R22 as required by the EPA rules and regulations.
3, Hire an expert to replace some parts of the AC system so as to make it compatible with the environmentally-clean refrigerants. Although this would be less costly than buying a new Air Conditioning System, it will definitely render your warranties void.
What if you are not sure of the refrigerant you use?Most of us are simply interested in the cool air coming from the AC system-nothing more. Well, this is a normality. To know the type of refrigerant used by your AC system, check the appliance’s nameplate that is located on the central condenser of the AC system. Wrapping-lt-UpAlthough R22 refrigerant seemed the best invention since sliced bread, it contains some compounds which highly contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore, just in case you are using the refrigerant, the best option is to switch to a new refrigerant that will guarantee us and our children a better environment. After all, who doesn’t want a conducive environment?