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Consumer Alert: New A/C Refrigerant Standards

If you own an older A/C unit, odds are its using R-22 refrigerant to keep you cool, Hobaica Services wants you to be informed about the new refrigerant standards.

The EPA has mandated that the old R-22 refrigerant will be completely phased out.  No production or importation of R-22 will be permitted beginning in the year 2020.  Manufacturers of air conditioning equipment were required to phase out the use of R-22 in new equipment as of January 1, 2010.

R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for residential heat pump and air-conditioning systems for more than four decades.  The down side is that R-22 is considered a greenhouse gas, meaning that when released into the atmosphere, it contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new A/C unit, you’ll be switching to the new refrigerant. It’s called R410-A, and it’s offered under different trade names by different refrigerant manufacturers.

The R-410A systems employ thicker walled tubing, newly developed compressors/components, and higher grade oil. All require diverse installation and service procedures.

What does the switchover mean for our customers?  Well, prices for the old R-22 will gradually go up but shouldn’t be outrageous for a long time.  For example; if you installed a new R-22 air conditioning system in the year 2004, you will be able to get refrigerant for your system at least until the year 2020.

If you opt to retrofit your existing A/C system for the new refrigerant, you need to be aware that when a system is changed over to R-410A we will need to change the condenser, the evaporator coil and, the refrigerant copper line set, or at least have them properly flushed.

If you’re buying a new R410-A system, you may actually get a side benefit.  Some products have experienced up to one full point higher SEER rating with the use of R-410A.

Ask Hobaica about the new refrigerant standards if you’re in the market to repair or replace your A/C unit.  We can advise you about choosing a new unit, or change you over if you’d like to “go green” with your air conditioning.

For more information about air conditioning refrigerant standards and other HVAC topics, contact Hobaica Services at 602-995-0387. 

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