If you’ve had a refrigerant leak or recharge, then you’re probably familiar with Freon. This chemical, also known as R-22, is that liquid/gas that cycles through your HVAC system and is integral to heating or cooling your home. It’s important, but it won’t be for much longer.
Soon, Freon will be getting phased out of production. By this time next year, manufacturers will stop making it, and an entirely new compound will get used in HVAC units instead. But what makes Freon/R-22 so dangerous, and why is it getting phased out of production? The heating and cooling experts at Freedom Air & Heat are here to help!
What is R-22?
We touched on it at the beginning of this blog, but here’s a breakdown of what R-22 actually is and what it does. It’s a type of refrigerant that most refrigeration equipment uses – air conditioners, ductless mini-split systems and heat pumps all use it, among other appliances.
R-22, or Freon, gets its technical name from the amount of fluorine atoms it has – the full name is monochlorodifluoromethane, so you can see why calling it R-22 is preferable.
Manufacturers originally developed R-22 for use in refrigeration systems because it has a lower-than-normal boiling point. But roughly 30 years ago, the EPA decided that R-22 was contributing to greenhouse effect and was depleting the ozone surrounding the earth.
R-22 is being phased out completely because of those concerns. And in 2020 – ten years from the previous deadline – the compound itself won’t be produced. Instead, manufacturers will only be able to use recycled refrigerant.
So, what does that mean for you? If you’re like most homeowners, your HVAC system runs on R-22, and the fact that it’s being phased out of production is alarming. It’s worrying, but there’s still time to get out in front of this development.
The most important thing to realize is that you’ll soon have to weigh the benefits of recharging your unit with a different kind of refrigerant against keeping your current charge of R-22.
- If you keep your current refrigerant and the unit works fine, then everything will be okay for now. But if your unit breaks down past the Jan. 1, 2020 cutoff, then you’ll either have to pay a premium for more refrigerant or eat the cost of an entirely new unit.
- Alternatively, you could replace your current unit now and ensure the R-22 phase-out doesn’t affect you. It’ll be a tough pill to swallow, but you’ll enjoy the efficiency that a new HVAC unit provides sooner.
Freedom Air & Heat: Here to Help
We realize that it’s not an easy decision to make. However, this is a decision that will help in the long run, and it helps to have someone you trust walk you through all the pros and cons of every option. Freedom Air & Heat has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we can help ease your concerns and aid you in making the right choice for you and your family.
Give us a call at 321-631-6886, and we’ll talk!