For decades, R-22 refrigerant was the standard in HVAC. This colorless gas, known as “chlorodifluoromethane,” is still being used heavily in developing countries; however, in developed parts of the world, it has been reclassified as a Class II Ozone-Depleting Substance (ODS). Subsequently, the United States agreed to begin phasing out it use starting in 2004, with the refrigerant being completely phased out for all but existing systems in 2020.
What Does the R-22 Phaseout Mean for Central NC Homeowners?
As 2020 draws closer and closer, this phaseout means serious ramifications for Central North Carolina homeowners. There are tens of thousands of homes in the Clayton, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Kinston, Goldsboro, Morehead City, Jacksonville, and Wilmington, NC area that still rely on R-22 refrigerant to cool their homes.
But as this refrigerant becomes harder and harder to find, it will mean skyrocketing maintenance or repair costs for anyone who still has an R-22 system. Recycled refrigerant and dry-charging your system are both options, but they’re really short-term band-aids rather than long-term viable solutions.
R-22 vs. R-410A Refrigerant: What’s the Difference?
So if R-22 is being phased out, the natural question is: “What is going to replace it?” The new standard for US HVAC units is R-410A refrigerant, which offers numerous advantages over R-22. Among other things, these include a lower critical temperature, higher performance in 90+ degree heat, removes more moisture and humidity, and a lower impact on the environment.
If you have an older system, Carolina Comfort Air strongly suggests that you check to see if it uses R-22 or R-410A. Reference the infographic below to learn how to do this. If your system uses R-410A, then great! You have a modern HVAC system and you’re in the clear for years to come. However, if your system uses R-22, then you’ll want to take some immediate steps. First and foremost, check for any leaking refrigerant (R-22 is worth its weight in gold now, after all) and then you’ll want to schedule a tuneup to ensure your aging system is in shape for the time being.
AC System Replacement in Central North Carolina
Before too long, though, Central NC homeowners with R-22 systems ultimately will need to begin shopping for a replacement R-410A HVAC system. The declining system performance and rapidly rising cost of R-22 systems essentially means that you’re sitting on a rapidly depreciating HVAC asset and it just makes sense to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Fortunately, Carolina Comfort Air is your go-to resource when it comes to this HVAC transition. If you have questions, we recommend reading through the R-22 infographic below and then giving us a call at 919-879-2106 to find out how affordable comfort can be with a free consultation!