By this time next year, your old, leaky air conditioner may cost you even more money to repair. This is because starting in 2020 there will be a nationwide ban on the refrigerant type that’s being used by thousands of air conditioning units. According to air conditioning repair professionals, about half of America’s AC units use R-22, which is a type of refrigerant that on January 1, 2020, will no longer be able to be produced or imported in the U.S.
Expected Repercussions on this new Ban
Steve Cormier is an HVAC contractor who owns Tampa, Florida’s AC Guyz. He says that he’s already seeing the price of R-22 starting to double and even triple. As such, he no longer believes that it makes any sense for homeowners to spend money on AC repair of older systems. Some homeowners are already heeding his advice and starting to repair these units instead of making repairs when their air conditioning unit breaks down. They’re admitting that this is an easy decision to make when you compare the price of repairs against the cost of a new unit.
Why This new ban is Happening
Although R-22 is a great way to cool your home, it isn’t good for our environment. David Hastings from the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science says R-22 is one of the worst offenders when it comes to triggering greenhouse gas emissions that destroy the ozone layer. Hastings believes that by eliminating R-22 we’ll save our ozone layer and increase the planet’s temperature too.
This makes sense only when you understand how things work when you run your home’s air conditioning unit. As it runs, refrigerant leaks (or escapes) from the unit in a form of a gas that then travels into the Earth’s atmosphere. There are chlorine atoms in this gas that then rip apart our ozone layer.
The last of these units that rely on the use of R-22 was manufactured in 2010. Most of these units won’t need to be replaced anytime soon as they’ll typically last 15+ years without the need for any new refrigerant. According to Bob Sheehan, owner of NoVent Refrigerant Services and a government-certified refrigerant reclaimer, there won’t be an R-22 refrigerant shortage anytime soon. There’s an abundance of it in the marketplace today. He’s considered to be “in the know” because air conditioning companies sell Sheehan’s company the refrigerant they pull out of the old units they’ve taken out of homes. It’s Sheehan’s job to then process, filter, and repackage it to resell to licensed air conditioning repair contractors. He says that over the summer of 2019 they’ve taken in approximately 15,000 gallons, which has led to a drop in its pricing this year.
Most people would agree that anything we can do to help our environment is a good thing. However, if you’re in the market for a new air conditioning unit you can expect to pay $5,000 – $11,000 depending on the brand, size, and efficiency rating. Nevertheless, if you need AC repair make sure you contact Prestige Air Conditioning & Heating for the best prices today.