The R-22 Decision You Will Face…
Most air conditioners operate using Refrigerant-22 as the refrigerant inside the cooling system. The refrigerant’s job is to carry heat–either from inside-out in the summer or from outside-in in the winter if you have a heat pump. Refrigerant-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for over 40 years and goes by many names. In the HVAC trade, it’s called R-22. If you are a scientist, it’s called “dichloro difluoro methane”. If you are a climate activist, it’s called an HCFC, or hydrochlorofluorocarbon. Unfortunately, hydrochlorofluorocarbons contribute to global warming and have been banned by the federal government from further manufacture. Since most air conditioners wear out around the 20-25 year mark, since R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for over 40 years, and since R-22 has been banned from new air conditioners for just a few years, it is a simple matter to determine that R-22 is still the refrigerant that is inside most air conditioners today.
Now that R-22 is no longer allowed to be used in new air conditioners, the government has placed huge taxes on the small amount of R-22 that is still allowed to be manufactured, and the cost of R-22 has skyrocketed to over 10-times what it used to cost. What that means to you is that if your air conditioner develops a leak, you will have a decision to make: If you elect to repair the leak and recharge your R-22-containing air conditioner, you will pay a very high price for that repair, and secondly, you are still at risk of another leak occurring in the future and getting to spend that money all over again. Your decision is that perhaps that high repair cost should be put toward purchasing a new air conditioner that uses a modern refrigerant that is NOT banned by the government. Your money–your choice. So be ready to decide. Max Johnston, May 7, 2015.
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