Your air conditioning system relies on the refrigerant to keep your home fresh and comfortable for you and your family. However, the most common refrigerant used for the past five decades had a harmful effect and looking at how the ozone layer was being depleted, the authorities were forced to take action.
In 2010, a regulation was passed, and it was aimed at reducing the usage of the R-22 refrigerant gradually until 2020 when the importation and manufacturing would be completely phased out. If you have a system that was manufactured before 2010, the chances are that it is based on this refrigerant and you must start evaluating your options now that 2020 is approaching fast.
While there has been no regulation instructing people with R-22 based systems to invest in new ones, the cost of this refrigerant has been skyrocketing gradually, and it will no longer be available after 2020. It is widely known that refrigerant recharge is one of the most common things done to maintain your system and this law affects you directly. The primary concern that you should worry about is how and when should you get the replacement for freon. Read below and find out;
Well, you are not limited to any options owing to this regulation, and one of the most obvious ones is getting a total refrigerant replacement. Some of the systems are built using rigid designs and might not be able to work well with other refrigerants.
This is the best long-term solution for this matter, and it involves replacing all the indoor and outdoor units plus all the ductwork and electrical wiring. It has been mentioned that reusing some of the units might be impossible and this will be the only viable solution.
However, keep in mind that this will cost you a fortune and it might favor those who have the resources to pull such a move. It involves a significant amount of initial capital and takes some time for the entire thing to be completed. If you have the resources, consider this option as it will be the most cost-effective one looking at it from the long-term perspective. However, there are some alternatives.
If you decide to get a replacement for freon, you may be forced to look at some of the popular alternatives to this. All these refrigerants have their advantages and downsides, and they might help you choose the best one for your system.
This is a unique refrigerant, and it is not made in the same way as the R-22 alternatives. It is a halo alkaline substance with thermodynamic features, and it contains a single component. Due to this, working with it may not need any recovery machines. Though this refrigerant can be used in your air conditioning system, it is prevalent on vehicle central ac systems. It is safe for the environment since it has a negligible effect on the zone layer with its depletion potential set at 0.
Due to the massive similarities in properties with the R-22 from blood, this refrigerant is suitable for people who wish to get a like for like replacement for freon. It contains a mixture of HFCs, and it is accepted as an alternative for freon most commonly used on the ductless air conditioner systems that have burst onto the scene recently. It is used in most of the newly manufactured appliances and can work on some R-22 system as long as an oil change is done. Its ozone depletion potential is zero, and it is entirely safe for the environment.
This is the other accepted alternative to R-22, and it has its ozone depletion potential of 0. It is used for refrigeration systems that require a wide range of temperatures, and this is why they are used in most transport industries. Its structure is quite similar to that of R-22, and it even offers an improve performance. Due to its non-reactiveness when it comes to contact with water and air, it is regarded to be safe for many applications.
This is a blend of two HFCs, and it does not affect the ozone layer. It is a reliable replacement for R-22, and this is owed to its improved capacity and performance. Most units being manufactured today are also based on this coolant. This alternative to Freon will not work on the R-22 units since it has a higher pressure and may need an entirely different pressure gauge to the one used on R-22 units.
How and Where To Get A Replacement.
With the most common alternatives listed, you may now be wondering how to go about the entire replacement procedure. Well, all you have to do is first to check your system and see if it can support an alternative freon. Most likely, you have one that is based on the R-22 refrigerant and might want to lean towards the refrigerants that they can support.
This is a very sensitive part of your central ac system, and you might be better off reaching out to an expert and let them handle the repairs. In most cases, your HVAC expert may be supplying these refrigerants, and you can buy it from them. If you choose to pursue other alternatives, you may opt to but it online but keep in mind that selling of refrigerants is a sensitive thing, and you might be required to show some certification before it can be sold to you.