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What You Need to Know About the Refrigerant Phase Out

refrigerant-phase-outThere are a few misconceptions homeowners have when it comes to air conditioning maintenance. One of these myths is that their refrigerant needs to be refilled (recharged) during each tune-up. The fact of the matter is, if your refrigerant needs to be refilled it means that you have a leak in need of repairs.

Another important refrigerant fact to know, if your air conditioner is an older unit using R-22 refrigerant, is that this is about to be fully phased out. The reason for this phase out is due to the harmful effects that R-22 has on the environment. If your air conditioner is old enough to be affected by this phase-out, then you are likely due for a system replacement anyhow. We’re happy to help you with this as well as any other professional Lincolnwood, IL air conditioning services.

More about the Phase Out

While R-22 is no longer being manufactured in North America, it may still exist within your aging air conditioner. In the meantime, you can still obtain recycled R-22 should your existing air conditioner need a recharge. However, the cost of this fluid is rising dramatically since there is now a decreased supply. By 2020, it won’t be available at all.

This means that if you have a refrigerant leak in your current system, and it is, in fact, using R-22, then you’ll find yourself spending a lot more than you should have to in order to have it repaired and have the refrigerant recharged. Additionally, after the full phase out, you won’t even have the option to recharge your refrigerant without the correct type of air conditioner to accommodate it.

Now Is the Time to Upgrade Your Cooling System

There are a range of benefits to updating your current cooling system—not just helping out the environment with the newer refrigerant (typically R-410A), although that one is a biggie! For example, air conditioners today are designed with much higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings than older systems, meaning that your new AC will be far more efficient.

Additionally, there’s nobody saying that you have to stick with a traditional and conventional central air conditioning system, if that’s what you’re using right now. You may want to consider a heat pump or a ductless system. These systems can be used year round for both cooling and heating, plus a ductless system can help rid your home of indoor air quality issues that may crop up due to damaged air ducts and other issues.

If you do choose to stick with the traditional central AC, that’s okay too. There are still ways to improve efficiency in addition to an upgrade—with zone control cooling, for example. This enables you to control the individual temperatures of rooms throughout the home. This way, you aren’t wasting any energy on unoccupied rooms such as a guest room or an entire upstairs floor when no one is home.

To learn more or to schedule professional AC services, contact Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning today!

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