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Why is refrigerant so expensive – do I need to replace my system if it has r22

Your air conditioner or heat pump uses refrigerant to cool your home in the summer. There are multiple types of refrigerant on the market. Some of the types used are for commercial use and some are used in the residential market.

R22 is one type of refrigerant that has been used for quite a while in the residential market. The technical name for R22 is hydrochlorofluorocarbon 22 (HCFC-22).

By January 1, 2020 R22 will be phased out completely. R-22 will not be allowed to be imported to manufactured in the U.S. If a system uses R22 a technician will only be able to use the refrigerant type if it has been recycled, reclaimed or produced before the phase out date.

When you take a look at the laws and changes the manufacturing of r22 has slowed down. Since production has slowed down the increase of price has been significant.

When systems are removed or when repairs are made the R22 that is removed is then recycled and then cleaned. There is a cost associated with the re conditioning of the refrigerant.

There is a perfect storm when it comes to the use of R22 as the production has been reduced and the demand has increased.

What should you do if you have R22 refrigerant?

If your system does not need to have refrigerant added you can keep the system as long as it makes sense to you. If you need to have refrigerant added there is a problem with your air conditioner somewhere. An air conditioning unit is welded shut and should never need to be "topped off". If your system is low on charge and has not had problems previous there is a leak somewhere.This leak in your air conditioner can be in the outdoor coil, the refrigerant line or the indoor coil. Any type of a leak may put you in a costly situation.

There may be times where a repair is not the viable option because of the increased cost in refrigerant. At some point it will not even make sense to consider adding R22 refrigerant to an older system because of the cost of repairs.

What to do if you have R22 and need a repair

You may find yourself in the situation where you need to add R22 to your air conditioner. You may want to take a look at other options instead of investing money in a system that may keep costing you money. There are a few things you will want to take a look at:

  • Future repairs
  • Loss of energy savings
  • Loss of rebates
  • Cost of inflation

More future repairs into an air conditioner may mean you are investing in a new heating and air system and not even getting the benefits.

You will lose energy savings with an older system compared to what you can have with a newer heating and air system

Some systems have rebates available and typically they decrease over time or the utility companies will make you jump though more hoops to get the same rebate you can have today.

Over time the costs of inputs to make the heating and air system will increase.

The best time to replace your heating and air system

Sometimes homeowners will try and wait for the perfect time to install a new heating and air system only to find the wait costs extra money.

If you are concerned about the state of your current heating and air system we would love to help you out and take care of your concerns. We can first take a look at your system and diagnose your situation and then make recommendations based upon your situation. Its really easy to find out if your air conditioner with R22 refrigerant needs to be replaced. Simply Call 916-714-1143 and one of our friendly representatives can help you out with a tune up to take a look at your heating and air system. 

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