What Does the R22 Refrigerant Phase Out Mean For Your HVAC System?

Have you been keeping that old, outdated and inefficient HVAC system on life support with hundred or two-hundred dollar repairs every summer? We know the story—just trying to inch through one more summer season so that you can replace it after saving up for a sizeable down payment on a new one.

Listen, the problem with that plan is that you never know when it’s going to break down beyond a simple repair and you don’t want to have to call a Houston ac repair company like us, to replace it in the middle of July. Especially, if you have refrigerant leaking, not only are you throwing more away than just money on “band-aid” repairs—you could be setting yourself up for a costlier unit in the future due to the R22 phase out coming in a couple of years—which many older systems, possibly even yours still use.

Now that cooler weather is finally on it’s way to Houston you have a bit of time to plan out a new system purchase using current incentives because soon you won’t have a choice— R22 refrigerant will soon become illegal and unavailable should you need a recharge on that old clunker.

When Is R22 Being Banned In The US?

Many Houston AC repair companies are busy upgrading older units to more efficient and more importantly new standard compliant units that don’t use R22 refrigerant. Since you are reading this blog, you have likely already been informed that R22 Refrigerant (also branded as Freon™) is being phased out of use worldwide due to its effects on the environment, specifically the ozone layer.

Per directive by the Environmental Protection Agency, R22 refrigerant is going to be illegal for manufacture in the US as well as imports of the popular refrigerant on January 1, 2020.

What Does This Mean For Our Houston AC Repair Customers?

If you have a newer system that does not use older, and less efficient R22 or Freon™ to cool—then this means nothing. After R22 becomes illegal, systems that use this refrigerant become completely obsolete as repairs that require a refrigerant recharge won’t have the R22 available to complete said repair. This makes them obsolete as aside from rare minor electrical issues, most types of Houston AC repair require a recharge of refrigerant. So as you probably guessed, if you keep patching up that leak and recharging the system every year—that repair option is coming to an end before you know it. Now is the time to begin planning with AirTeam to get your system replaced now before it’s too late.

What Are Your Options?

At Airteam we are firm believers in being both transparent and proactive about our customers HVAC needs. That’s why we strive to consistently inform our customers about issues that affect their HVAC operations and their budgets. We like to give you the tools to budget and plan according to your needs and your comfort level.

If you have an older R22-based HVAC system you have three main options:

  1. Just let your system run out its lifecycle. (Not recommended)
  2. Convert your old R22-based system to use the new refrigerant standard applicable to your unit.
  3. Be proactive and invest in a more efficient system that complies with the new standard.

Not All Options Fit Every Situation

Naturally, some or even all of these options are not feasible, or a smart idea for some situations. You have to examine the pros, the cons and whether or not one of these solutions is even possible per your circumstances.

For example, retrofitting to accept newer refrigerant is not technically possible for some older units. You’ll need to have one of our Houston AC repair experts inspect your system and determine if retrofitting is even possible with your equipment. Most likely if you are already experiencing leaks within your system, our experts wouldn’t even recommend spending the money to convert your unit only to now leak newer refrigerant.

If you are already experiencing trouble with your system, inaction is not exactly an option at all as your comfort levels, especially during Houston summers, will be unbearable and for some people, such as the elderly—quite deadly.

You can always keep pushing it until the last minute. R22 is still available but as supply dwindles down since manufacturers are focusing on new standard refrigerants—the price will continue to skyrocket higher and higher. Why invest so much money in a system you will end up having to repair, not to mention a system that is eating up your electricity because of its inefficiency? The choice is yours but if you want to save money and headaches over time—replace your HVAC system.

System Replacement Is A Significant Investment—But A Wise One.

As mentioned, it seems imprudent to keep throwing money at a system that is inefficient and is on its way out but we understand—replacing your HVAC system is expensive and seems daunting. However, if your system still uses R22 refrigerant, it is quite likely also very inefficient. Even though it’s the last option you were hoping for—especially for commercial customers, you do end up better off in the long run.

There are however manufacturer rebates that may be available that can reduce your new residential HVAC cost if purchased within a certain time frame—no matter what Houston AC repair company you deal with. Airteam offers the most units at all price points and the best rebates in Houston and you should consider replacing your system before it’s too late.

If you are a commercial customer there are also savings for you as well—quite significant in fact. Effective January 1, 2018, businesses can deduct immediately, up to $1 million for qualifying capital purchases made in 2018, which includes commercial HVAC systems. You read that correctly, up to $1 million instantly deducted. That alone should be a great incentive to take advantage of a commercial HVAC replacement system before this tax deduction expires at the end of the year.


Make The Smart Choice And Call Airteam

No one wants to have to invest in a new HVAC system before they actually are forced to. The reality, however, is that it’s even worse when you have to replace it with no warning and especially in the peak of summer where wait time for a new install could be weeks!

As the R22 phase out nears closer and closer, there will also be greater demand for new installs and units and that means longer wait times as well as fewer rebates and higher prices due to low supply.

Don’t put it off—contact an Airteam expert today to set up a free consultation and work out a plan that saves you money both now and down the road.

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