WHAT ARE HCFCs AND R-22?
WHAT ARE HCFCs AND R-22?
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, are chemicals that are mainly used as refrigerants. Unfortunately, releases of HCFCs deplete the Earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute
to climate change.
R-22 is an HCFC refrigerant that is often used in air-conditioning equipment. To protect the Earth’s protective ozone layer, the United States is phasing out R-22, along with other chemicals.
As the United States phases out refrigerant R-22, you will need to make informed choices when servicing, repairing, or replacing an existing air-conditioning unit or when purchasing a new unit. EPA has banned the manufacture of new equipment that contains R-22. As a homeowner, you need to consider and balance several key factors in your decision to purchase a new unit, such as energy efficiency, performance, reliability,
cost, and the refrigerant used.
The lengthy phaseout period allows you to replace your air-conditioning equipment that contains R-22 when you normally would, for instance if it becomes old, inefficient, or ineffective. Realizing that supplies of R-22 will become more limited and that the price may increase should also be factors. In the meantime, R-22 remains available for servicing equipment made before 2010.
You may continue to have your equipment containing R-22 serviced.
The most important thing you can do is to maintain your unit properly. Appropriate servicing minimizes potential environmental damage and maintenance costs.
It is important to select a reliable service contractor. Technicians must have EPA Section 608 certification to service equipment containing R-22.
EPA has prohibited the manufacture of new
air-conditioning systems that use R-22.
Systems that use alternative refrigerants that do not harm the ozone layer are available and will become more common.
New energy efficient air conditioners save energy costs. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save significantly on your energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
Energy efficiency is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the ratio, the more efficient the equipment.
A central air-conditioner that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label is at least 14% more efficient than a standard new system and can save you money on your cooling bill.
ENERGY STAR® qualified systems are available for alternative (R-410A) systems.
Posted on Tue, May 30, 2017
by Theresa Henderson