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What the R-22 Phase-Out Means for Your AC Unit

If your home or commercial space has an older HVAC system, you may be wondering what the R-22 phase-out means for your cooling capabilities. R-22, more commonly called Freon, was the industry-standard refrigerant for decades. Unfortunately, it was found to cause substantive damage to the planet’s ozone layer. The United States government, along with Canada and many European countries, has been slowly phasing out R-22 production and importation for nearly two decades.

The United States’ federal R-22 ban will take full effect in 2020, meaning that it will be completely illegal to produce or import any R-22 in the United States. There are a few things that homeowners and building managers should know as the deadline for the R-22 ban approaches. Working with a qualified provider of AC repair in Visalia, CA can help you prepare for the R-22 ban more effectively.

Understanding the timeline

It’s important to understand the timeline the federal government is using to implement the R-22 ban. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in accordance with the Montreal Protocol, first began phasing out R-22 in 2004. Prices for the gas began to rise as the government cut production levels every few years to their current rate.

Between now and 2020, the government will require R-22 consumption to drop from its current rate, which is at 30 percent of the U.S. baseline, to 0 percent of the U.S. baseline. This means that the chemical is already becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain.

Steps to take from here

If you depend on an R-22 cooling system, there are a number of steps you should consider taking to mitigate the impact that the R-22 ban will have on your ability to cool your home or commercial space, including:

  • Retrofit your old systems: It is possible to retrofit your old, R-22 reliant systems to run off of new, ecologically conscious coolant. However, you should begin exploring this option sooner, rather than later.
  • Replace the systems: R-22 systems are becoming increasingly irrelevant and outdated. If you are serious about keeping your space at a cool and consistent temperature, you should consider proactively replacing all of your space’s cooling systems.
  • Wait for the breakdown: You could also continue using your R-22 reliant system as-is until it inevitably breaks down, and coolant is no longer available. This is not advisable, however, because you may not be able to replace your system quickly or cost-effectively.

Since 1981, McGee Refrigeration has been a highly trusted provider of AC service in Visalia, CA. We provide each and every one of our clients with high-quality maintenance and repair services that you can rely on throughout the year to keep your home’s or business’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems running smoothly. We take a tremendous amount of pride in providing each and every one of our customers with dependable air conditioning services. You can count on us to help you navigate the R-22 phase-out. Reach out to one of our friendly representatives today to learn more.

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