The refrigerant used for decades in residential air conditioners has been HCFC-22, aka R-22. Did you know that according to the EPA, “after 2020, only recycled, reclaimed or previously produced HCFC-22 can be used to service existing equipment”? This mandate was created in response to the 1987 Montreal Protocol that required a worldwide phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons that deplete the ozone. The staff at Blue Valley Energy in Longmont are fully aware of the HCFC Phaseout for air conditioning systems and have summarized what it means for homeowners.
Will You Have to Buy a New Air Conditioning System by 2020?
- Servicing your existing system (manufactured before 2010) with HCFC-22 is still allowed since the EPA is not requiring older systems to immediately be replaced or converted.
- Retrofitting older systems to use the alternative refrigerants is an option but may be more costly than just buying a new system since many components will need to be converted.
- If your older air conditioning system has a leak, HVAC technicians can still use HCFC-22 to charge the system after repair.
- However, since no new HCFC-22 is being produced domestically or imported, the supply is running out and becoming more costly compared to the alternative refrigerants.
- New systems are designed slightly differently for use with the more ozone-friendly refrigerants so technicians will need new training to install and service these redesigned units.
- The news isn’t all bad since the new air conditioners are more energy efficient than the older models and will save homeowners money on cooling bills!
Staying up-to-date on government mandates like the HCFC Phaseout and other industry developments is part of providing top-quality service for our customers. We take our training very seriously at Blue Valley Energy in Longmont so you can rest assured that our HVAC technicians are knowledgeable and fully prepared to handle any issue with your air conditioning system.