The Environmental Protection Agency has started phasing out ozone-depleting refrigerants such as HCFC-22, also known as R-22. If your existing heating and air conditioning equipment uses these refrigerants, read on as we talk about what your alternatives will be, including eventual replacement.
What Is HCFC-22?
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are chemicals used as refrigerants in heating and air conditioning equipment but has been found to cause ozone depletion. If not abated, continued emissions could cause irreversible damage to the ozone layer. As part of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, HCFCs have been seeing gradual phase-out, beginning in 1994 with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other Class I substances that were completely phased out as of 2005.
HCFC-22 is a common kind of refrigerant used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, which has recently been found to be one of the HCFCs that has the highest ozone depletion potential in its category level (Class II). The phase-out schedule has begun as of 2003 and aims to meet 99.5% reduction by 2020, and complete elimination by 2030.
Should You Buy a New Air Conditioning System?
If your heating or air conditioning equipment was manufactured before January 1, 2010, chances are it uses the R-22 refrigerant. You can also check the labels or the care and maintenance guide. If it is still fully functional, there is no need to have it replaced; if your air conditioning unit is up for a refill, your HVAC service technician should already have alternatives, such as R-410A, marketed under various brands known as GENTRON AZ-20®, SUVA® 410A, and PURON®.
On the other hand, if you are buying a new air conditioner, you shouldn’t worry about accidentally purchasing a unit that still uses R-22, after EPA prohibited the manufacture of such systems. Trustworthy HVAC companies are already informed of such requirements and should be able to provide up-to-date air conditioning systems. Buying new units is also an opportunity to update energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR®-certified models, which are at least 14% more efficient compared to a standard system.
Learn More About Refrigerants With Cardinal Heating and A/C Inc.
If this is your first time you’ve needed your air conditioning system replaced or upgraded, get the best HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance service in Overlake. Call Cardinal Heating and A/C Inc. today at (425) 827-9997 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.