If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, your unit may soon be obsolete. The coolant used in your AC unit, R22 – more commonly known as freon – will be completely phased out in 2020 according to government regulations. The decision behind the freon-phaseout is that freon is considered harmful to the environment; it depletes the ozone layer and contributes to global warming. Freon production has been declining significantly over the last decade, and as of January 1, 2020, R22 will no longer be manufactured.
As with most commodities that are no longer produced, the existing supplies will increase in cost and be more difficult to find. In fact, industry experts say R22 will be VERY, VERY costly and VERY, VERY difficult to find. So, what are consumers to do? Most people don’t have the budget to replace their AC unit right away, so Goettl’s High Desert Mechanical has a few suggestions for customers with a unit that currently uses R22:
- If you haven’t had a routine maintenance performed recently, now would be a great time to schedule one. This will enable us to determine if the refrigerant level is low and perhaps the reason why it is low.
- If refrigerant level is low and it makes sense to do so, have your unit “topped off” with R22 prior to the end of 2019.
- Start budgeting for a new AC system, especially if yours is in the 15-18+ year old range.
Not sure whether your AC unit uses R22? Check the label on the side of the unit. If you’re an existing Goettl’s customer, give us a call and we can check your service history and unit type. Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of IF you will need to replace your AC unit, it’s just WHEN you’ll need to replace it.
While R22 will be discontinued from manufacturing and production as of 2020, your system will remain serviceable. Remaining and recaptured R22 stock will be available for some time. Just hope your system does not incur a leak. Leak searches, leak repairs, and of course, recharging the system with the expensive R22 may get into cost that will force your hand into system replacement.