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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
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.