If you’re on the fence about replacing your old air conditioner, here’s some news that may help you jump off. As you know, the EPA has been forcing the phase out of R-22 (also known as Freon) because of environmental concerns (it is bad for the ozone layer). The Phase Out started in 2009. The plan was to decrease the production and importation while using reclaimed R-22 (from decommissioned systems) to help balance out the decrease. Newer systems cannot use R-22, but older R-22 systems can be repaired by recharging them with either new or reclaimed R-22. New air conditioners are manufactured to use a more environmentally friendly refrigerant-most popular is R410A, but others versions are also available now. Their long-term plan focused on a gradual reduction in R-22 from 2010-2014 to ensure a smooth transition for the HVAC industry.
The EPA recently revisited the plan for evaluation and they were not happy with the progress. So, on January 20th of 2012, the EPA issued a new proposal for 2012-2014. While the original proposal called for a 10% reduction in production and importation rites of R-22 from the previous year’s numbers, the EPA increased that goal and demanded an additional 35% reduction (that makes a total reduction of 45% from last year’s numbers).
In a nutshell, the supply of R-22 will decrease and demand will increase causing the price of R-22 to rise even more. So if you have a system that uses R-22, and you’re considering replacing it with a newer more energy efficient air conditioner, it may be an even wiser move than previously thought. Of course, a new air conditioner is an investment, but besides saving you money on energy bills because it is more efficient, it will also save you from paying through the nose for R-22 Freon in the years to come too.The entire industry is moving away from R-22 and eventually it will exist no more. That’s good for our environment, but change is always hard. Now that you know the situation, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to replacing your old system or not. Give us a call if you need more information and one of our skilled Getzschman service technicians will help you figure out which system is best for your home and tell you about our financing options too.