You may have heard about R-22 in the news recently, but if you're like many homeowners, you're not exactly sure what R-22 is and how it impacts you.
R-22 is a refrigerant often used in residential air conditioners. Commonly known as Freon, R-22 has been found to have negative environmental impacts. As of 2020, the United States is no longer producing or importing R-22. That means that the only R-22 available will be found in recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies.
So, does this mean you have to stop using your R-22 air conditioner or replace existing equipment? No. Instead, this phase-out period is an opportunity to switch to a refrigerant that's not as harmful to the ozone. Lennox has led the way in manufacturing systems that use chlorine-free R-410A refrigerant. Since R-410A contains no chlorine, it is considered ozone-friendly.
As R-22 gets phased out, many manufacturers are offering alternative refrigerants. However, changing from R-22 to one of these alternate refrigerants can damage equipment and compromise overall system performance. You can read FAQs about alternative refrigerants here and talk to your local Lennox® dealer for expert guidance on how to safely and properly transition away from R-22.
Some Helpful Tips
If your air conditioner uses R-22 and you run into an issue such as a leak or a compressor burnout, check with your local Lennox® dealer to learn more about the root cause of the issue. You might need to repair or replace the unit.
If your HVAC technician recommends repairing your unit, you can consider some R-22 alternatives such as R407C or RS44B. R4207c is more expensive since the technician must flush out the line set with R-22, which is POE oil-based. You also might see your labor costs go up and your unit's efficiency go down. On the other hand, RS44B is easy to use for the installer and costs less than the R407C.
If your AC unit is 10-15 years old, you may want to consider replacing the unit or your entire system. Not sure if you really need a new AC? You can use these six questions to help you decide.
The Key Takeaway
The most important thing you can do is to continue properly maintaining your unit. This means getting regular check-ups to ensure system health. Appropriate maintenance also minimizes potential environmental damage and maintenance costs.
Lennox is here to help you understand the R-22 phase-out and provide guidance on how to move forward without it. Contact your local Lennox® dealer to schedule an evaluation of your R-22 unit and review current promotions.