If you still have an air conditioner with R22 refrigerant (alternatively known as Freon), you’re likely trying all that you can to keep it in working condition and avoid having to buy a new one. Eventually, you are going to need a new air conditioner, but in 2020, getting an air conditioner with R22 refrigerant will no longer be a possibility.
What Will Happen To R22 Refrigerant?
On January 1st, 2020, R22 refrigerant will become illegal to manufacture in all countries. This is because the refrigerant causes harmful effects that impacts the Earth’s ozone layer. Since then, a safer refrigerant has become available, known as R-410A, that has become the standard for air conditioners.
If you still own an air conditioner with R22 refrigerant, you will not get fined or arrested, it will just be harder and more expensive to have your air conditioner repaired or even just order parts for it. As the majority of homeowners have switched to R410-A, R22 refrigerant, resources for air conditioners with R22 become much more scarce, and are projected to be completely phased out by the year 2030.
If you are just finding out about this news and are disappointed, it is also important to know that this was a move that was actually in the works for over a decade. In 2010, air conditioner manufacturers were only allowed to make R22 refrigerants to service AC units that homeowners already use. But in 2020, they will end production for all R22 refrigerant.
What Can I Do If I Still Use R22 Refrigerant?
There are still a few good homeowners out there that still have a working air conditioner that uses R22 refrigerant. If you are one of these people, there are three options that you can consider:
1. Keep Your Old AC Unit
If your air conditioner with R22 still works and has shown no signs of slowing down, you can opt to do nothing for now. You can keep your air conditioner running, and when something happens to it, you will have to spend more money to get R22 refrigerant or relative parts for it.
If you go this direction, the air conditioner might break down in just a week, or it will still continue to run as normal for the next few years. Without ongoing maintenance of your AC unit, this route is considered a roll of the dice.
2. Retrofit Your Old AC Unit
If you think nothing is wrong with your AC unit with R22 refrigerant, or you simply want to make your current AC unit compatible with R-410A or R-409A refrigerant, you can have it retrofitted or modified so that newer refrigerant can be used with it. Units made for R22 refrigerant won’t simply take new refrigerant types as is, so you will need to call AC repair in Houston to have them modify your unit for you.
Retrofitting older AC units is done so that homeowners can continue to support them without buying rare, expensive R22 refrigerant and other parts or paying for costly repairs; They can instead buy more affordable parts and pay for repairs that are easier for repairmen to do.
3. Buy A New AC Unit
Simply buying a new AC unit is often the best choice if your air conditioner isn’t running well and has seen better days. Buying a new unit makes sense financially as you can avoid extravagant repairs for a handful of years.
R22 refrigerant will soon be phased out, so be sure you have an air conditioner that is compatible with newer refrigerants and avoid breaking the bank from ongoing repairs.