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Keeping cool during the upcoming summer is imperative in the Treasure Valley. This means maintaining your AC unit and topping it off with refrigerant to maintain cool air inside your home. However, topping off your refrigerant might be a bit more of a challenge this year. Why?

Many AC units still utilize a refrigerant called R-22, which is officially being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency as of January 2020.  This means consumers and retailers are no longer allowed to produce, sell, or import R-22 refrigerant, which can cause complications for Treasure Valley homeowners with older HVAC systems.

That’s why the Boise heating and cooling professionals at Access Heating & Air would like to provide you with more information on how the R-22 refrigerant phase-out will affect your AC system and what you will need to do going forward.

What Is R-22 Refrigerant & Why Is It Being Phased-Out?

Every AC unit uses refrigerant to cool the air that passes through your HVAC system. Without it, your system is unable to do what it was designed for. R-22 has been the most popular refrigerant in the US for decades. Unfortunately, it’s also harmful to the environment. That’s why the production of R-22 has been banned, and manufacturers are switching to safer alternatives like R421A or R410A refrigerants that are atmospheric friendly. While some Boise heating and cooling companies may have some stockpiles of R-22 left, they will quickly run out in the future.

How To Keep Your AC Unit Functioning Without R-22

If your AC unit was produced after 2010, you probably don’t have anything to worry about, as most units produced after that year use an alternative refrigerant called R410A. While Treasure Valley homeowners with R-22 units are not required to replace their working system, they will have to decide between the following options if their system springs a leak or needs a repair that requires more refrigerant.

  • Refill with the current stockpiles of R-22. This may be a good option if you can find R-22 and need a little more time before you can retrofit or replace your current AC system. However, it’s important to note that as current supplies dwindle down, you may end up paying more for R-22 than you anticipate.
  • Retrofit your current AC system with a converter that allows the use of another refrigerant such as R421A. However, only a trained HVAC technician can disassemble your unit and replace the components necessary for this to work.
  • Replace your current system with a new one. New AC units have several benefits that make this a cost-effective solution going forward. Because they’re not made to use R-22, you won’t have to pay to have them retrofitted. Even more, they run more quietly and efficiently, saving energy and money on expensive energy bills. Furthermore, a new AC unit is an excellent return on investment should you decide to sell your home in the future.

Access Heating & Air Has You Covered!

Want more information about the R-22 phase-out? The Boise heating and cooling professionals at Access Heating & Air are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. For over 40 years, our experienced, knowledgeable team has been providing our Treasure Valley customers with personalized solutions they can rely on for years to come. Contact us by filling out our online form or give our Meridian office a call at (208) 855-2444 today.

Have a question? We can help!