Air Conditioners Manufactured after 2010 Can No Longer use the Refrigerant R-22 (Freon)
Ever heard of the Montreal Protocol? Like many things that happen among and between nations, even if you haven’t heard of it, we’re talking about an event that could affect your life – or, in this case, your home comfort.
Offered up in 1987 for nations to sign and adopt, the Montreal Protocol was an international treaty that focused on a concern for how chemicals and other things in the atmosphere were depleting the ozone layer that was protecting life as we know it on earth. The treaty was amended in 1992 to set a timetable for phasing out chemicals known as HCFCs – which includes in this list a refrigerant that has been used in air conditioning systems since the early ‘70s.
Now, fast forward to today and what this means in practical terms for you:
Air conditioners manufactured after 2010 can no longer use the refrigerant R-22 (also known by the brand name Freon) as the coolant of choice. While this refrigerant can still be produced and used to service existing equipment for the time being, in 2020, the production and import of R-22 will end, and it will only be available through recycled and reclaimed processes.
That means simply this: any air conditioning that uses R-22 is looking at a time limit. As you face repairs with any pre-2010 system, we’ll be glad to talk with you about the best ways to extend the life of the equipment (hint: regular maintenance!), and when the time is right for replacement, we’ll give you our best guidance there too.
To learn more about what’s going on, take a look at this info…
Government regulations to make some air conditioning systems obsolete
Part 2: A Message from Quinn’s PHC
“It’s safe to assume that the majority of homeowners in PHILADELPHIA are cooling their homes during the summertime with pre-2010 air conditioning systems,” said JOHN QUINN of Quinn’s Plumbing Heating Cooling.
“But it’s not safe to assume that when these systems need repair, they won’t be affected by a 2010 ban of the use of R-22 refrigerant – also known as Freon – in new air conditioning systems.”
The federal ban on the use of R-22 refrigerant in new air conditioning systems took effect in January 2010. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for residential heat pump and air conditioning systems for more than four decades. Yet environmental concerns related to ozone depletion and greenhouse gases led the government to require an industry transition to systems that use another type of refrigerant.
“Unfortunately, these replacement refrigerants are incompatible with systems that use R-22, or Freon,” QUINN said. “While there is no new production of R-22, it will be available through a recycling process for the next several years. However, supply will surely tighten up before it’s unavailable altogether.”
The other side of this situation is that it is no longer attractive for air conditioning equipment manufacturers to make replacement parts for pre-2010 “orphaned” air conditioning systems,” QUINN added. “Without the right condenser, air handler or other parts, these systems are going to be hard to repair when a problem occurs.”
QUINN said Quinn’s Plumbing Heating Cooling is talking with their customers every day about the best options for reacting to the ban. “If your equipment is fairly new and operating well, this is certainly not an emergency. But once you’ve got some age, say, of more than 10 years, when your next repair comes, you should think seriously about replacing your system with a current model.
You’ll avoid the non-repairable state that many are going to face at an inconvenient time, and you’ll also benefit immediately for the higher level of energy efficiency these new systems guarantee.”
To find out more, call Quinn’s Plumbing Heating Cooling at (215) 242-6329 or visit www.quinnsphc.com.