Have you heard about the R-22 phaseout? If your HVAC system is 10-15 years old or more, chances are it uses R-22 refrigerant. The EPA, as part of the worldwide Montreal Protocol, began phasing out the production and import of R-22 in the US beginning in 2010. Starting on January 1, 2020, it will be illegal for HVAC contractors to make repairs that require the use of R-22.
This means that R-22 HVAC systems will become obsolete, since their refrigerant cannot be replaced when it starts to run low. What are your options as homeowners? In this blog, we discuss some of the common questions that Gold Star Services gets from homeowners about the phaseout of R-22.
Why is R-22 being phased out?
R-22 used to be an industry-standard refrigerant, but it has been found to have harmful effects on the Earth’s ozone layer. The production and import of R-22 have been illegal in the US since 2010. The next step of the phaseout starts on January 1, 2020, when it will also become illegal to make any HVAC repairs that require adding R-22 refrigerant.
What does this mean for my HVAC system?
Many older HVAC systems use R-22 refrigerant. Because R-22 repairs will no longer be legal, these systems will become obsolete. Many repairs involving recharging refrigerant, and fixing a leak will no longer be an option. Therefore, R-22 systems will have to be replaced. If you aren’t sure whether or not your system uses R-22, consult a Gold Star Services HVAC professional.
What are my options?
If your system uses R-22, there are a couple of ways to prepare as 2020 approaches:
- Do nothing for now: your system can still function into the year 2020 as long as it it does not need more refrigerant. You can wait until it breaks down completely before getting a replacement system. However, a sudden breakdown can catch you off guard during a heat wave.
- Replace your system: many homeowners are choosing to proactively install new systems now, rather than waiting for their existing equipment to break down. Installing a newer, more environmentally friendly system should save money in the long run, as new systems are far more energy-efficient. And if something goes wrong, an HVAC technician will be able to repair it using approved refrigerant.
Now that you know what the R-22 refrigerant phaseout means for you, it’s time to consult Gold Star Services for advice about your particular system. The technicians at Gold Star are experts at assessing and installing all types of systems. If you have any questions or would like a free, no-obligation replacement consultation, contact us today at (302) 376-7677.