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 Heating & Cooling 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 Heating & Cooling 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.