The R-22 phaseout may be good for the environment, but it raises concerns for many Louisiana homeowners. R-22 has been the standard air conditioner refrigerant for many years. Because it contributes to ozone layer depletion, however, R-22 is being gradually phased out. The more environmentally-friendly refrigerant R-410A is now being used in new A/C systems. 

By January 2015, the production and importation of R-22 will fall by 90 percent compared to 2003 levels. By January 2020, production and import will stop almost completely.

Most air conditioners made before 2010 use R-22 refrigerant. In the future, you’ll still be able to run your air conditioner with R-22, but certain service costs will rise. With so many systems still using R-22, demand for this refrigerant will remain relatively constant while supply will fall quickly. As a result, the cost of this refrigerant will rise.

If you have an R-22 system, you can continue to use it despite rising maintenance costs or upgrade to an R-410A system. 

Tolerating Rising Refrigerant Prices

Air conditioners don’t “use up” refrigerant, but there are times when adding refrigerant is necessary. If your system develops a leak, the system must be correctly recharged with refrigerant after the leak’s repaired. If your system was undercharged at installation, your technician will recommend adding more refrigerant to improve efficiency. For R-22 systems, the cost of these services will increase as the R-22 phaseout progresses.

Upgrading Your System

Air conditioners manufactured after 2010 use a more environmentally-friendly refrigerant that isn’t in short supply, so they’re cheaper to maintain. Even better, these systems are 30 to 50 percent more energy efficient than those made just 10 years ago. Installing a new air conditioner now will save you money on both refrigerant and electricity. For relatively new R-22 systems, consult an air conditioning specialist about the most cost-effective time to replace your system.

If you’ve decided to upgrade your air conditioner or have further questions regarding the R-22 phaseout, talk with the experts at Bryans United Air Conditioning. We’ll help you get the most from your cooling system in New Orleans, Marrero, Luling, Gretna, St. Rose, Metairie, Laplace, Hahnville, Harve, and Laplace.

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