Why You May Want To Replace Your Pre-2010 Air Conditioner


Do you have an air conditioner that was made and installed prior to 2010? Even if it is still chugging along and keeping your home relatively cool, you may want to have it replaced. These older air conditioners use a coolant called R-22, which is being phased out and will soon be completely unavailable. Here is a closer look at why replacing an older, R-22 air conditioner is a good idea.

What is R-22?

R-22 is colloquially known as Freon. Inside the lines of air conditioners, it expands as it cools, and then condenses into a liquid as it absorbs heat from the air passing through your air conditioner. R-22 was a very effective refrigerant and was cheap to make, but it was then found to deplete the ozone. As such, the EPA and other regulatory agencies chose to phase it out. The last R-22 air conditioners were installed in 2010. Today's air conditioners run a different refrigerant, known as R-401a, or Puron. It is much better for the environment than R-22. 

Why should you replace an R-22 AC unit that is still working?

If your R-22 air conditioner starts leaking refrigerant at any point, which is very likely as it continues to age, this is not good for the environment. Furthermore, your AC contractor will not be able to obtain new R-22 to refill the unit. (It will either be completely unavailable or so expensive that buying it is simply not worth it.) You cannot just put a different refrigerant in an air conditioner designed to run R-22.

Rather than wait for the air conditioner to break down and be irreparable, you are better off just replacing it now. You can avoid the environmental damage due to a leak and your AC contractor can ensure the old R-22 is disposed of properly. Plus, you can be confident that your new, R-401a unit is a smart choice for the environment. These units are also much more efficient so you'll recoup a good portion of the replacement cost in the form of energy savings.

How do you know if you have an R-22 unit?

If you are not sure when your air conditioner was installed, or whether it runs R-22, there are a few ways to tell. First, look for a sticker on the back of the condenser that specifies which refrigerant the unit uses. If you can't find a sticker, look in the owner's manual. Or, give your HVAC contractor a call and have them come take a look. They can often tell simply by looking at the coils.

If you have an air conditioner installed prior to 2010, there is a very good chance it uses R-22 and needs to be replaced. Contact an air conditioning service like Environmental Contractors to learn more. 


26 March 2019

Keeping up With Maintenance Between HVAC Inspections

Working with HVAC contractors is an important part of being a homeowner. Not only do your contractors ensure that a new system you buy is properly installed, but they also ensure optimal performance throughout the years through a series of regular inspections, maintenance services, and repairs. But there are lots of things you can do in between your contractor's visits to ensure that your HVAC investment is always in tip top condition, aside from cleaning out the air filters. After working with my dad for more than a decade in the HVAC business, I've put together a few methods homeowners can use to maintain a well working system, and I have published those tips and tricks right here on this blog. I hope some of the information you find here helps you on your journey as a homeowner!