r22 refrigerant manometer

If you have a faulty air conditioner, then you can either have it repaired or replaced with a new HVAC system. If you have a relatively new unit, then it is cheaper and faster to repair it. However, if you have an older unit, then repairs are less cost-effective. It might be better for you to invest in a new air conditioning system. This is especially a good idea if your current A/C system still uses R-22 refrigerant, a coolant that has been phased out. All production and importation of R-22 in the United States ended on January 1, 2020. R22 AC units that require a refill can opt to use recycled R-22 refrigerant at this time. R22 refrigerant prices are quite expensive and, in many cases, can cost about half the amount of a new unit, depending on its size.

However, if you are already experiencing issues with your cooling system, then it only makes sense that you take this opportunity and tackle the R-22 problem as well. This is the time to consider whether you should purchase an air conditioning replacement, buy the costly recycled R22 refrigerant when you have a leak, or retrofit your existing one to use an r22 replacement.

R22 Replacement: Why R-22 Is Banned From Use

R-22 contains hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs. These are greenhouse gases that work well as refrigerants. Unfortunately, they can significantly damage the ozone layer if they are released into the atmosphere. Our environment has already taken a lot of damage. This is why governments from around the globe have agreed on ways to ensure that our modern lifestyles lessen, if not eliminate, any further damages. This includes the decreased consumption and production of HCFCs and other ozone-depleting substances.

R-22 and other dangerous substances are now phased out or entirely banned. In fact, the final phase of the R-22 ban ended on January 1, 2020. To address this ban, new HCFC-free refrigerants are being put into use.

What The R-22 Ban Means For Connecticut Homeowners

air conditioner installation

Banning R-22 means that if you have an HVAC unit that uses R-22, then you will have to pay exorbitant prices for R-22 should the need arise. For instance, let’s say your unit is diagnosed with a refrigerant leak. Since the production of R-22 has already ceased, there are limited supplies left. This means that you will have to pay a hefty price to get your hands on R-22. This could mean that the leak can be fixed, but it will be expensive to do so. At this point in time, you will have to determine which option is best for you and which is the more economical choice.

The Issues Associated With Using An Outdated Air Conditioner

Here is one thing to consider-Just like any other machine, cooling systems become less efficient as they get older. You might notice that although your old AC is still working, it is not as efficient as it used to be. Moreover, newer HVAC units are equipped with better efficiency compared to units manufactured even ten years ago. This is due to the advancements made in the HVAC industry as time progresses.

An A/C unit that is not working as it should because it is low in refrigerant will only continue to get worse until the coolant is topped off. Unfortunately, even before the January 1 deadline, manufacturers stopped producing R-22. They were only looking to sell what they have left into stock. They instead focused on making and selling refrigerants that are still in stock.

Nonetheless, an outdated unit is still more costly to operate as you will have to spend more on repair costs and energy bills, among others. The limited stocks also only mean that it is even pricier to buy more R-22. This increase in expenses should be enough to push homeowners to get air conditioning replacements. The good news is that if you want to install a new cooling unit, you have a lot of eco-friendly options to choose from.

R-410A and The Other Alternatives To R-22 Refrigerant

air conditioning unit

Several alternatives to R-22 were put to the market with the R-22 ban. The most common is R-410A, which is a green-friendly gas that was invented in 1991. Honeywell is the original manufacturer, and more companies have since begun making it as well. It is widely available today and comes in pink cylinders. There is also the R-421A, which many consider to be the ‘refrigerant of the future.’

Full AC Upgrade Or Air Conditioner Retrofit: Which Is Best?

The question many homeowners need to consider now is: Should you get a complete air conditioner upgrade or retrofit your AC?

Purchasing a new HVAC system allows you to receive tax breaks. However, it can still be quite expensive to buy a whole new air conditioning system. Not all homeowners can shell the amount immediately as it is not in their budget.

Another option every homeowner has is to retrofit their existing system. This means that you can keep your old unit but tinker it in a way where it can use eco-friendly refrigerants. However, keep in mind that retrofitting does not always work well.

R22 Pressure

R-22 works at a lower pressure compared to many of its replacements. Many new refrigerants work at a higher pressure. Retrofitting your system would require your old AC to run at a higher pressure (due to the new refrigerant) which can lead to issues such as refrigerant leaks. Retrofitting is not a long-lasting solution as you will most likely need to replace the unit anyway. Therefore, paying to get your existing AC to be compatible with an alternative refrigerant will only double your expenses.

A full HVAC upgrade means you get all the advantages that come with it. This includes the warranty, improved energy-efficiency, and a unit that works with eco-friendly and legal refrigerants. Use the tax break to your advantage to bring down the cost of buying a new AC unit as well. You also won’t have to deal with costly and frustrating repairs. Find out more about HVAC replacements by calling Tower Energy today.

When To Replace Your Heating And Cooling Unit At The Same Time

In some cases, it makes sense to replace both your heating and cooling systems at the same time. This is because it will save you money in the long run. You will also receive year-round comfort this way. Mixing a new system with your old one can result in problems because the units have mismatched parts. In fact, some companies forego their warranties if you mix incompatible old or new units. Cutting corners can lead to even more expenses in the long run. Call your local HVAC expert at Tower Energy to help you find a highly efficient HVAC system that is within your budget.

Call Tower Energy For All Of Your Heating & Cooling Requirements

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Tower Energy is a trusted heating and cooling company that provides quick and affordable HVAC services. Our team of NATE certified technicians offers maintenance, repairs, replacements, and installations for residential and commercial properties in the area. We guarantee that we can help you with all your heating and cooling problems. This includes finding a unit that fits within your budget to its installation in your home. We back all of the work that we do with guarantees to ensure customer satisfaction.

Call Tower Energy and find out more about the systems that we provide. Schedule a free, no-obligation, in-home consultation with us today.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.

refrigerantThe central air conditioning system is easily one of the most overlooked components of a building. Because it is out of the way, people tend to ignore it until it breaks down or starts showing problems. This is unfortunate because we rely on HVAC systems to keep our home comfortable, particularly during extreme weather.

If your air conditioner is starting to fail and is older than 15 years, you will have a decision to make: you can either repair the system or have it replaced. Another reason why you might want to look at your cooling system carefully is because of the R-22 phase-out by the U.S. government. This phase-out was finalized on January 1, 2020, making it illegal to produce or import in the United States. Therefore, with this phase-out, you will have no choice but to replace your older AC or to pay for a hefty AC repair bill when faced with a refrigerant leak.

When Was R-22 Banned In The U.S.?

R-22 is a chemical compound categorized as a coolant. It is used with air conditioning systems to produce cool air. R-22 was the standard among manufacturers of cooling systems due to its efficacy and reliability as a coolant. However, R-22 was proven to cause environmental issues, prompting the government to implement regulation controls. The final date for this target for this was January 1st, 2020. After this date, manufacturing and importing R-22 was illegal. It is not illegal to use an R22 unit. However, these units are generally on their way out due to old age and wear and tear. Essentially, R22 units are quickly approaching the end of their lifespan.

Can You Still Buy R-22 In The U.S.?

Currently, R-22 is still available from most dealers. There is a catch, though. The chemical is expected to carry a significantly higher R-22 refrigerant price tag. Why? The availability of R-22 is severely limited for the simple reason of supply and demand. Furthermore, the need for the coolant will remain the same or even increase as some ACs continue to age. In worst-case scenarios, a single recharge could go as high as $2000. The price could even go higher than that for larger AC systems. These homeowners will have to decide between keeping an older system (that costs thousands of dollars to recharge) or upgrade their cooling system to a more efficient unit.

If you need assistance in assessing your current cooling system, call Tower Energy today for a free consultation.

So how does the phase-out of R-22 affect you? If you are one of the homeowners whose air conditioning system uses R-22, then you may face a refrigerant leak which is common with aging units. Therefore, you too will have to make the difficult choice between an expensive R22 top-off and an upgrade. You should consider taking advantage of the lower air conditioner prices, especially if your home air conditioning system is at least 10-15 years old.

Why Is R-22 Phased Out From Circulation?

environmentally friendly refrigerantWhile R22 is an effective coolant, R-22 negatively effects the environment due to its components. R-22 contains HCFCs or hydrochlorofluorocarbons.[1] When these molecules come in contact with the air, they cause damage to the ozone layer. The ozone layer acts as a protective shield. When it is damaged, everything on the earth’s surface becomes susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. There is some good news, however. In recent years, it was discovered that the hole in the ozone layer shrank years after ozone-depleting substances such as HCFCs and other ozone-depleting substances were banned or minimized in countries around the world.[2] By shifting your air conditioning system to one that does not require the R-22 coolant, you can actually help the environment. A better air conditioning system would be one that uses Puron or R-410a, an alternative refrigerant to R-22.

Which Is More Energy Efficient? R-22 Or R-410a?

The refrigerant used in older cooling systems.
A new type of coolant by the brand named Puron.
R-22 is not as energy efficient. It can absorb and release heat in a lesser amount.
It can absorb and release heat efficiently which makes it more competent as a refrigerant.
Causes damage to the environment and the ozone layer.
Is the more eco-friendly option.
Not used in newly-manufactured air conditioners.
Is used in modern air conditioning systems.
Adds to the reduction of the ozone layer.
Does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer.
R-22 refrigerant prices are increasing and are very expensive.
You can avoid the risk of cooling system problems due to tougher and durable air conditioner parts.

Furthermore, HVAC systems begin to show signs of deterioration as aging sets in. Dirt, dust, and other particulates settle on the surface and reduce its efficiency. Friction due to wear and tear also affects the performance of the system. The buildup of pressure can also lead to cracks, which eventually make way to leaks. Although older air conditioners are still capable of keeping a home cool, they will consume more energy to do so. This leads to unnecessary costs that can actually be avoided. It is far better to invest in a high-efficiency cooling system to cut on monthly expenses and improve your comfort levels.

New HVAC technology also continues to improve and produce better heating and cooling equipment. If you consider everything from the perspective of efficiency coupled with functionality, a 2005 AC system will not be able to compete with a current model. A newer system will be far more superior in terms of performance. Plus, it will make more sense economically compared to an older home air conditioning unit.

What Is The Price Of R-22 Per Pound And Why Is It So Expensive?

cost of r22The main reason for the increase in the price tag is the phase-out and ban of R-22. This phaseout has stopped manufacturers from producing this compound. With the low supply and the same level (or even higher) demand, the r-22 refrigerant prices have nowhere to go but up.

If the current air conditioning system you have at home is leaking or if you are running low on refrigerant, you will have to face an exorbitantly high repair bill in the summer months. If, on the other hand, your AC unit would require repair late in the season, there is a huge chance you will be paying even more. We expect the price of the R-22 coolant to increase steadily through the seasons as its supply dwindles.

AC Savings And The HVAC Tax Credit

To encourage homeowners to upgrade their cooling systems, the government offers perks for new HVAC unit buyers by way of tax breaks. These tax breaks can help homeowners defray part of the cost of buying a new cooling system. If you want to know more about how to compute for the tax break, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America or ACCA has more information you can use.

Generally, how much you can save on a new purchase will depend on the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of the new unit. A higher rating offers more savings, usually in the form of tax credits, incentives, and rebates. Higher SEER ratings also mean better efficiency, which leads to lower operational costs for your home.

A higher SEER rating also means more comfort for every dollar you spend on energy. Modern air conditioners, for example, use about 30%-50% less energy while providing the same comfort (or even better) compared to air conditioners made decades before.[3]

If you need to know more about tax breaks offered in your locality and find out about money-saving offers that come with HVAC upgrades in Connecticut, call us today for your in-home HVAC assessment at no cost to you.

Call Tower Energy For All Of  Your HVAC Needs

Tower Energy is a leading authority in the HVAC industry, providing affordable and reliable HVAC services to both commercial and residential properties. We offer exceptional work to ensure that we meet and exceed your heating and cooling requirements, from installations and repairs to tune-ups and maintenance work.

We offer the best in terms of efficiency and friendly service at affordable prices. To find out about the types of HVAC systems we offer, call us at Tower Energy today. Our HVAC technicians will meet you for a free consultation and discuss your requirements to ensure that your needs are met. The best cooling solution is waiting for you to discover. Call us today.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.

[1] Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) (https://www.epa.gov/ods-phaseout)
[2] Ozone depletion, explained (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/ozone-depletion/)
[3] US Department of Energy (https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/central-air-conditioning)