Even though many people think that refrigerant is something that will need to be recharged because it gets used up, your AC unit is a closed system and actually recirculates the refrigerant. If your AC is working as it should, you shouldn’t ever have to put more refrigerant in the unit. However, as your AC ages, it often develops a leak that leaves you with low refrigerant levels. Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning is here to talk about refrigerant and whether or not you should mix different refrigerants together.
Can You Still Use R22 After 2020?
R-22 refrigerant is incredibly damaging to the environment. For this reason, the EPA has announced that it will no longer be produced to keep your home cool. There are still many units that are older and use R-22 to cool homes across the country though. This leaves homeowners with refrigerant leaks and no refrigerant to fill their units with. Because it is no longer being produced, it can be quite a bit more expensive to purchase and fill older units that have sprung a leak and have low refrigerant levels. If you have a cooling contractor working to solve your refrigerant issues, it’s important that you make sure they aren’t using a different refrigerant to top off your unit. Mixing different refrigerants is never a good idea.
What Happens if You Mix AC Refrigerants
If you don’t understand how an AC unit works, you may not see a problem with mixing refrigerants. However, when you do this, you end up causing more problems than you had before. You will more than likely run into a system overheating, reduced efficiency and a reduced lifespan. There is a certain amount of unpredictability that happens when you mix two different refrigerants which is why it is not only impractical but illegal and not economical either. Some of the issues you run into with your unit include:
– Possible compressor damage
– Ineffective compressor cooling
– Reduced cooling
– Negative impact on the environment
What Refrigerant Can Replace R22?
If you have a refrigerant leak and need to fix low refrigerant levels in your unit, you are more than likely facing a refrigerant replacement. This isn’t a bad choice; the only important thing is that two refrigerants cannot be mixed without running into big problems. Your unit needs to be completely free of other contaminates and refrigerants before the replacement is put in your unit. While it may be tempting to simply top off the system with a different refrigerant rather than completely draining the system before putting in a replacement refrigerant, it is a bad for the environment, the equipment and the homeowner’s budget as this leads to other damage to the system. RS-44b (R453a) is the newest R22 drop-in replacement refrigerant in the U.S. market.
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If you have a problem with your AC and it isn’t working as it should, you can count on the cooling professionals at Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning to get your system back on track. Call us today!