The steadily declining R-22 refrigerant supplies are putting upward pressure on the prices for this essential component of air conditioning. This means that if you need to top your system off, it will cost more now than ever. The price will continue to rise each year that passes. Also going by the brand name Freon, R-22 poses a serious hazard to the environment. Countries around the world have agreed to phase out the use of R-22. The first step in this process came in 2010 when the U.S. government halted the manufacture of new A/Cs and heat pumps that use R-22. The next step has been the gradual reduction, year after year, of new supplies of R-22 to service and recharge pre-2010 A/Cs and heat pumps.
Since we in Florida use our cooling systems extensively, giving some thought to replacing your older system with a new one makes financial sense, especially if your equipment is 10 years or older. New HVAC equipment uses a more efficient, more widely available and less costly refrigerant called R-410A.
Over the last 10 years, the minimum efficiency requirement for central A/Cs and heat pumps has increased from 10 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) to 13 SEER. Each single increase in the SEER rating indicates that the system is 10 percent more efficient, so the cost of replacing your old system will be defrayed by lower operating costs.
If your current equipment has started to need frequent repairs or is leaking refrigerant, there could be little incentive to go on fixing it in the face of dwindling R-22 refrigerant supplies. When R-22 escapes into the atmosphere, it degrades the ozone layer and contributes to global warming. Anyone breathing the fumes can experience physical harm. The new refrigerant, R-410A has much lower human and environmental toxicity
Besides offering a safer refrigerant, new systems offer features that increase comfort, especially in a humid climate like ours, such as:
- Variable-speed air handlers remove more humidity and airborne particulates and run quieter than a traditional air handler. They provide more even cooling at less cost.
- Dual-speed compressors run at slower speeds when less cooling is needed and decrease electrical use those times.
- Desuperheaters use the waste heat from your home to heat your water.
To learn more about the future of R-22 refrigerant supplies and your options for cooling your home, please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Palm Beach counties since 1973.