Most air conditioning units have been manufactured to use R-22 refrigerant, more commonly known as refrigerant fluid. However in recent years, environmental concerns and regulations by the EPA have resulted in the R-22 refrigerant phaseout.

Since 2010, manufacturing of HVAC systems using R-22 refrigerant has ceased, and by 2020 R-22 will no longer be produced.

Knowing how this will affect repairs or the replacement of your HVAC unit is of vital importance. Because R-22 contains ozone-depleting chlorine, new systems will use the more environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant, which contains no chlorine.

Accessibility

R-22 will still be available for existing systems. However, it may become harder to find supplies in the years to come because of the R-22 refrigerant phaseout. New HVAC units are being designed to use the R-410A refrigerant.

Refrigerant options

While there are currently alternative refrigerants available, such as R-407C, R-438 and R-422, they may not be compatible with your R-22 unit even if the manufacturer claims they are. In fact, these alternatives may compromise the performance of your system. It’s important to ask a trusted professional before using these refrigerants.

Importance of proper installation

Before having your new R-410A system installed, make sure your HVAC professional is trained to work with the new systems. Failure to do so may result in loss of energy savings and service issues in the future. It is also important to make sure that if you are replacing your outdoor unit, but not the indoor component, that your indoor unit will work with a R-410A system. Otherwise, both units will need to be replaced.

Retrofitting

Unfortunately, it is not possible to retrofit a system that uses R-22 refrigerant to make it compatible with R-410A. If you try to attempt this, your HVAC system may malfunction or fail completely.

For more expert advice about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been serving the Cincinnati area since 1910.

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