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What Do I Need to Know About The R-22 Phase Out?

In case you’re not as up on HVAC lingo as we are, let’s start with what R-22 is exactly.

(And no, it’s not a Star Wars droid.)

R-22 is a refrigerant often used in residential air conditioners. You may know it as Freon and have heard about how it has detrimental effects on the environment. Starting this year, the U.S. no longer produces or imports R-22, which means R-22 is now only available from recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies.

But if you have a system that has been using R-22, don’t fret! You’re neither required to replace your system nor stop running it. The phase-out period is merely an opportunity to swap the R-22 with a refrigerant that affects the ozone in the atmosphere. Lennox has led the way in manufacturing systems that use Systems that use a chlorine-free R-410A refrigerant are being produced by A/C manufacturers, an effort which has been led by Lennox. R-410A is considered to be ozone-friendly, as it contains no chlorine.

A/C manufacturers are offering alternative refrigerants as the phase-out of R-22 rolls out. However, you could damage your system and negatively impact its performance if you replace R-22 in your system with an alternative refrigerant. For more information, read FAQs about alternative refrigerants here or talk to us – your preferred local Lennox® dealer! – for expertise on safely and properly transition away from R-22.

What to Do If You Have a Problem with Your System

If you experience an issue such as a compressor burnout or a leak, give us a call to help you find the root cause of the problem. We can help you determine whether you need to repair or replace the unit.

In the event our expert technicians recommend repairing your unit, you have alternatives to R-22 to choose from, such as R407C or RS44B. RS44B is likely the preferred option, as it’s less expensive and requires less labor to make the switch. More work is needed to switch to R4207c, as it requires the technician to flush out the line set with R-22, which is POE oil-based. (That is, the two refrigerants don’t mix!) Plus, the refrigerant itself costs more.

At the same time, for A/C units which are 10-15 years old, it’s probably wise to consider replacing the unit or your entire system. A replacement is likely to save you a lot of money (in repairs and energy bills) in the long run. Not sure if you really need a new A/C? See our blog post on deciding to repair or replace your system for more information. 

The Bottomline

The number one thing you can do to avoid repairs, replacement, and refrigerant issues is to stick to the routine maintenance schedule for your unit. Schedule your annual A/C check-ups to ensure your system stays “healthy” and efficient. Maintaining your equipment helps you to avoid costly repairs, as well as potential environmental damage.

Arendosh is here to help you understand the R-22 phase-out and provide guidance on how to move forward without it. give us a call today to schedule maintenance or an evaluation of your R-22 system and learn about our current promotions.

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