As Home Inspectors, we often identify cooling systems that are aged or not functioning properly. Many of these systems use R-22 refrigerant, leading to a further discussion about the EPA phase-out and the need for replacement. We often recommend further evaluation by a service company, so we asked Gault Energy & Home Solutions to share their expertise on upgrading air conditioning with us.
Contributed by Gault Energy & Home Solutions
It’s now been a year since the EPA finished phasing out Freon/R-22 as a refrigerant in air conditioning units. While many homeowners replaced their units in 2020, at Gault, we encourage those who haven’t, to be proactive and start taking steps now for replacement.
Freon/R-22 is a Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC); this chemical has been mainly used as a refrigerant but has been shown to deplete the ozone layer and contribute to climate change. The phase-out began in 2010 reducing production and import of R-22 and in 2020, the ban expanded to only the use of recycled or previously stockpiled Freon in servicing these air conditioning systems.
What’s next for your R-22 Freon Air Conditioner?
Remember that Freon is no longer available for purchase so it will become increasingly difficult to repair these units as they age. While some units might have the option to be retrofitted to utilize a different refrigerant, it’s important to evaluate the recurring costs of servicing older units compared to installing a new efficient model that will lower your energy costs.
Upgrading or Replacing your Air Conditioning System
According to a survey of 26 technicians and Comfort Specialists at Gault, the Freon phase-out is only one consideration of many when it comes to replacing or upgrading your AC system. Here is what the experts said:
• 100% say financial savings and 96% say efficiency should drive the decision-making process. Newer systems have higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings that indicate the amount of electricity used to run the unit; the higher the SEER, the lower the energy consumption. Over time these models can save you up to 38% on your electric bill and reduce maintenance costs of older models in need of repair.
• 61% suggest the system’s age and reliability as a top reason for replacement. According to Energystar, if your system is more than 10 – 15 years old, it is reaching its life expectancy and has a higher chance of breakdown or failure. Being proactive, not reactive will ensure your unit will be running and reliable during the hottest weather.
• 43% factor in the comfort that a newer system can provide beyond simply cooling the air. New units are much quieter, cool faster and more consistently, remove humidity, and improve your home’s air quality. And don’t forget that your air conditioning system will better serve you if it’s the proper size for your home; renovations and additions since its installation can make your system work harder with poorer results.
Stay Cool All Summer
This spring (2021), save up to $700 on the purchase and installation of a new air conditioning system from Gault!
For more information visit GaultEnergy.com or call 203.227.5181 to schedule an appointment with one of our Comfort Specialists.