When a ban was approved on January 1, 2010, a gradual phase out of the refrigerant R22 began. Domestic production halted and the amount of R22 that could be brought into the United States was slowly reduced. For the time being the U.S. can still obtain it from other countries although now R22 can no longer be manufactured in the United States as the timeline ended on January 1st, 2020. Considering the R22 ban, we at Air Supply Air Conditioning & Heating would like to continue with information on the subject.
Older R22 AC System Repairs
Since there are plenty of parts available to make necessary repairs on the older units, repairs remain unaffected by the ban. Having considerable amounts of R22 available with them, most vendors stocked up on R22 prior to the ban going into effect. Also, it is highly encouraged that the refrigerant in older systems being replaced be recovered. Many industry experts are buying the R22 back to them so that they can “reclaim” it and sell it back to us as new refrigerant.
New R22 Refrigerant VS Reclaimed R22
One is not different than the other according to the EPA. For resale, the strict standards must be met during the regulation of the reclaiming process. The standards for companies assuming responsibility for reclaiming refrigerant, the process for cleaning the refrigerant is cleaned to a point that exceeds ARI-700 purity standards. This standard is the exact same standard that new refrigerant is required to have before it can be sold. It is ensured through this process that no contaminants remain in the reclaimed refrigerant. According to one of the largest manufacturers of all refrigerants, there is no difference between virgin refrigerant and reclaimed refrigerant.
R22 Refrigerant Cost
To avoid excessive costs, the government actively participated. The primary reason behind the government mandated gradual phaseout is to prevent skyrocketing costs of R22. Being quite the learning experience for government and industry officials, a similar switch from R12 to R22 in 1995, gave them perspective. The price of R12 did shoot astronomically higher during the switch since the government did not do a phase out. They strived to phaseout the R22 gradually as they learn from previous mistakes. There has not been a wide fluctuation in the cost of R22 as a result. Keep in mind that no one can completely control the market and pricing, however.
Repair or Replace R22 Air Conditioner
Owners should weigh the circumstances and decide if repairs are more feasible than a replacement when it does come to needing repairs for older R22 systems. Anything older than 15 years is likely better replacing, so be sure to consider the age if the unit. Also, consider the property’s long-term goals in addition to the repair costs versus the replacement costs. It is in your better interest to replace the unit in the event repairs are 50% or more of replacement cost in an older unit.
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Air Supply Air Conditioning & Heating can answer your questions and address your concerns accordingly when it comes to understanding the refrigerant usage. Call us and let our certified experts assist you for your HVAC system needs.