Is the R-22 Refrigerant Replacement Drop-in or Direct?

April 26, 2013

With the supply of R-22 refrigerant growing scarce, many owners of air conditioning systems have asked about replacement options. Some consumers have mistakenly believed it’s as simple as removing the old chemical and dropping in a replacement. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Read on to understand the options available for replacing systems using R-22.

Government Phases Out R-22

The reason R-22 has recently become scarce is due to a government agreement to remove it from the marketplace. In the early 90s, studies revealed R-22, DuPont’s widely popular air conditioning refrigerant, harms the ozone layer when released into the atmosphere. Because the chemical was so prevalent in air conditioners all over the world, it would have been a burden to suddenly ban it. Therefore, many countries agreed to a slow R-22 phase out over the course of 20 to 30 years. As of 2010, manufacturers can no longer make air conditioners using the chemical. By 2020, the chemical will cease production entirely. That’s why the price of R-22 has risen so drastically.

R-22 Replacement Options

The predominant chemical replacing R-22 in air conditioners today is called R-410A, also known as R-410a. It has no negative effect on the ozone layer, and it runs more efficiently. Other chemicals exist that have attempted to mimic the behavior of R-22, but none matches it exactly.

Why There is No Drop-In R-22 Replacement

There simply is no safe drop-in replacement options for R-22. R-410a operates at twice the pressure. If you were to simply drop it in, then many of the parts on a R-22 system would burst or wear out. Other chemicals attempting to closely match the properties of R-22 also present dangers. Some companies have attempted to design retrofitting components to convert old R-22 systems. Unfortunately, the wide variety of brands and models is too much for an all-in-one retrofit. Likewise, many manufacturers will void the warranty for installing such systems due to safety issues.

Economics of Replacing With R-410A

Many consumers have explored dangerous options in an attempt to dodge the perceived cost of fully replacing with a new system running on R-410a. However, when you consider all the factors, the upfront investment and overall cost is not about a simple price tag. R-410a air conditioning systems can cut electric bills by up to half. Government incentives and rebates reward you for installing modern energy efficient system. Likewise, you won’t need to personally shell out cash if you choose friendly financing options, with approved credit. In essence, you can see more money in your pocket every month by upgrading to a R-410a system. You’ll also enjoy an ironclad warranty that you can’t get with questionable retrofit options.

JD’s AC in Longview TX

JD’s AC has been serving Longview and surrounding communities for more than 30 years. To inquire about the benefits and friendly financing options, with approved credit, of upgrading to a R-410a system, call us today.

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