Does My Unit Needs R-22/Freon?

March 9, 2017

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Whether your heat pump or air conditioner uses Freon (the brand name for the R-22 refrigerant), before the cooling season starts, plan for the summer ahead. The production of R-22 has slowed severely in response to the EPA’s mandate to stop its manufacture by 2020, and supplies are dwindling.

After scientists proved that R-22 harmed the atmosphere by degrading the ozone layer and contributing to global warming, a world-wide ban on its use and production was put into place. This refrigerant has been replaced by R-410a, a safer and more energy efficient chemical.

Assessing Your System

The easiest way to see if your equipment uses R-22 is to check the nameplate on the outdoor condenser to see which refrigerant it uses. If your cooling system was replaced in 2010 or later, it doesn’t use R-22. However, cooling systems manufactured prior to 2010 may also use R-410a.

If your system uses R-22 or Freon, it will be important to have it serviced well before the cooling season starts. Since its supplies are limited, prices have increased steadily since 2010, and it may not be cost-efficient to repair or refill your equipment. By 2020, the only R-22 available will be from recycled sources.

Central air conditioners and heat pumps last between 10 and 15 years and as they age, they lose energy efficiency. Between the cost of parts, rising cost of R-22 and the labor charges, it may not be financially viable to repair an aging system.

Benefits of Replacing

New cooling systems operate much more efficiently and those lower operating costs help offset the cost of new equipment. Besides saving on cooling bills, Mid-American Energy is currently offering a generous rebate program for customers who install a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump.

Since the supplies of Freon are disappearing, its price will only increase. The pros at Lozier Heating & Cooling can help you evaluate your current system and make an educated decision about repairing or replacing. We provide trusted HVAC services for homeowners in Des Moines.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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