How To Check If Your Air Conditioner Uses R-22 Refrigerant

r22 refrigerantOld air conditioners are in danger of imminent obsolescence. Blame this on the R22 ban which took full effect in 2020. Owners should check whether their air conditioning system utilizes this refrigerant. If they need a recharge now, then they will be dealing with colossal R22 refrigerant prices. If they require a recharge in the future, then they may go home empty-handed as the product will no longer be available. Read on to learn more about the changes and how they can affect you.

Outdated air conditioners in homes and offices should be retired as soon as possible. Continuing to use them is unwise given their abysmal performance, expensive repair costs, and declining energy efficiency.

Cooling systems that are experiencing coolant leaks will be hard to fix if they use R22. Repairs will be extremely costly this year and, as time passes, even more difficult in the future due to the product ban. Leaks will force owners to make an important decision: to try to salvage the unit through repairs or to face the prospect of replacing it altogether.

The phaseout is inevitable and inescapable as the government is leading the charge. The supply has already dipped as manufacturers move on to other refrigerants while the demand has spiked as people try to get some while they can. With a refrigerant recharge possibly costing over half of a new air conditioner replacement, the latter has become a much more attractive option.

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What To Do To Make The Right Decision When It Concerns Your Cooling Options

Before you decide whether to repair or replace your air conditioner, you should first make sure that you are dealing with R22. This is unlikely if you have a unit that was made after 2010. You can still avail of affordable repair services because the air conditioner is probably using R-410A, an eco-friendly alternative to R-22. However, if you are using something that was manufactured before 2010, then there is a high chance that the ban will affect you and your household.

Good performance does not mean that you should hold on to your old A/C. It will still require a recharge one day, and you will have a difficult time accessing it from 2020 onwards. Since your cooling unit is considered obsolete, you should begin to save up for a replacement as early as you can.

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Steps To Ascertain If Your Air Conditioner Uses R22 Refrigerant

Several strategies can be used to uncover the exact kind of refrigerant present in any air conditioner as shown below. You can also learn more details about the impending R22 ban.

1. Look For The Manufacturing Date Of Your Air Conditioning Equipment

air conditionerThe year when the unit was made is one of the best clues that you can get for the R22 evaluation. A data plate should be present on the condenser unit. If you can’t find it there, then try the air handler. The year 1996 was a turning point for the HVAC industry as manufacturers started to use the R-410A refrigerant alongside R-22. If your system was made before 1996, then it will no doubt be using R22. If the manufacturing date is between 1996 and 2009, then it is inconclusive. Cooling units that date after 2010, use R-410A.

2. Try To Remember The Date Of Your Air Conditioner Installation

The alternative would be to depend on the date of installation. The EPA forbade technicians from installing R22-equipped AC units in 2010. If your machine was set up in that year or after, then you can breathe easier as you will not be affected by the phase-out.

3. Look For The Cooling Unit’s Specifications

Instead of relying on dates, you might want to learn about the actual specifications to see if the unit does contain the controversial R22 refrigerant. Doing so will take out the guesswork and make your findings direct and unassailable. Just check the nameplate to see what you are looking for. You might also notice telltale signs such as stickers certifying the absence of R22 inside the unit.

4. Make Inquiries With The Air Conditioning Manufacturer

Sometimes machines are so old that their nameplates and stickers have already faded. Without these sources of information, people will have to reach out to the ones who have the details that they need. The manufacturer is the best stop for this. Call their customer service hotline and have them pull out the specs from their database. Provide them with the model number to make this easier.

5. Get The Help Of HVAC Professionals

HVAC technicianIf the manufacturer is hard to reach, then you are left to find an alternative data source. You should not worry since you probably have plenty of local HVAC experts, such as Miller Oil Company, who can help you with this task. If your unit is up for repair or maintenance, then you can ask one of our technicians to tell you the type of refrigerant in your system. These air conditioning professionals are familiar with all makes and models of HVAC equipment so you should get an answer in a snap. You will know right away if it’s an R22 unit.

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Vital Facts About The R22 Phaseout

The R22 phaseout has been in progress for quite some time. The final part of the ban occurred in 2020. This was just another milestone in a long process that dates back to the 90s. On January 1, 2020, it was officially illegal to make or import R-22 refrigerant. With this, you can expect a supply shortage and an R22 refrigerant price spike. Although it will still be possible to use old air conditioners, recharge and repair can cost a fortune until then. As mentioned above, you might have to shell out half the price of a modern A/C.

Air Conditioning Possibilities That Could Be Explored by Homeowners

Experts advise the replacement of R22-based cooling systems. After all, those that use this refrigerant are likely to be old, inefficient, and unreliable. They are due for retirement anyway. The phase-out only highlights the need for a new unit that will provide a better overall experience for the household.

What’s more, the recharging cost has gone up to the point that you have to wonder if it is worthwhile. You are likely to save more money in the long run if you switched to a new high-efficiency air conditioner today. A new cooling system will not use R22. Consequently, it will be cheap to repair, and it will not consume as much energy while cooling your home. Have it installed by a reputable air conditioning contractor and you will be all set.

If you are worried about being able to afford the new unit, then talk to your preferred HVAC company. Most of them have financing programs that they extend to clients with a good credit rating. You will not have to shell out the full amount right away, but instead, pay in easy installments.


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Miller Oil Company is a name that you can count on when it comes to heating and cooling. Residential and commercial clients can look forward to professional and affordable services for all types of concerns. No one else comes close to our team’s level of skill and expertise.

We offer HVAC repairs, replacements, tune-ups, and more. You can trust us to find the most practical heating and cooling solutions for your home or office.

You can learn more about Miller Oil Company and what we can do for you by calling our telephone. We can set an appointment and discuss your HVAC concerns for free. Call us today!

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