What R-22 A/C Refrigerant Is and Why It Matters

Spring has officially arrived on the Cape. Before you dust off your air conditioner and crank it up on the first hot day of season, you need to double check its age. If your system is 15 years or older, it likely uses R-22 refrigerant, which will be banned in the U.S. in 2020. Don’t panic! We’re breaking down what you need to know about R-22 and how you can make this transition as easy as possible.

R-22 Refrigerant Q&A for Homeowners with A/C

What Is R-22 A/C Refrigerant?
R-22 refrigerant is used by most air conditioning systems manufactured in 2011 or earlier.

Why is it being banned?
Its ozone-depleting qualities have negatively affected the environment enough for the EPA to ban further production and sale in the United States.

How can I tell if my system uses R-22?
If your air conditioning system was made prior to 2011, it likely uses R-22. If you are unsure, contact your local HVAC specialist to inspect your system.

How will this affect my current A/C system?
If your system uses R-22, you will be unable to purchase more after 2020. Older systems can be converted to use different refrigerants, but this can be an expensive investment.

What can I do to prepare for the transition?
HVAC specialists recommend that homeowners with older systems that run on R-22 refrigerant upgrade to new high-efficiency equipment. Instead of converting an old unit with a short lifespan, your money is better spent upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model.

Benefits of upgrading to new, high-efficiency A/C include…

  • More efficient operation
    High-efficiency models use less energy to produce better comfort. This can help minimize your environmental impact and help you spend less on summer utility bills.
  • Longer life, fewer breakdowns
    A new high-efficiency system will last longer than your old, outdated model – and will be far less likely to malfunction on the hottest day of the year!
  • Convenient features, better comfort
    They require no ductwork, are easy to install, and can deliver zoned or whole-home cooling. Ductless mini-splits include special features, like remote control and whisper-quiet operation.

Have questions about R-22 refrigerant, your current A/C system, or high-efficiency upgrades? Contact Falmouth Energy to learn more!