Do You Want to Chill This Summer? Give Your Air Conditioning Some Love!

Do You Want to Chill This Summer? Give Your Air Conditioning Some Love!

May 2024

As Home Inspectors, we often identify cooling systems that are aged or not functioning properly. And of equal priority, we observe many that are not serviced annually.  The common homeowner approach is to wait for the first warm days of June and turn the system on to cool their home. This can be problematic, things like dirty filters and condensate drains need yearly maintenance. Poor filter maintenance can reduce airflow but also cause the system to ice up when it gets hotter. Lack of condensate drain service can lead to leaking, hopefully just in your basement but in some cases damaging ceilings. Take a proactive approach and contact a service company to maintain your equipment.

Many older systems use R-22 refrigerant; at home inspections, this leads to a further discussion about the EPA phase-out and the need for replacement of the system. We often recommend further evaluation by a service company, so we asked Gault Energy & Home Solutions to share their expertise on upgrading air conditioning. 

Why the change in refrigerant?
Gault explains that it has been several years 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 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 Gault technicians, 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:

  • Financial savings and 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 needing repair.
  • Age and reliability are reasons for upgrading. According to Energystar, if your system is more than 10 to 15 years old, it is reaching its life expectancy and has a higher chance of breakdown or failure. Making a planned replacement versus an emergency can save money and allow for decisions on equipment options.
  • A newer system can provide comfort 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.


If you live in their service area contact or call 203.227.5181 to schedule an appointment with one of their Comfort Specialists.  For service contractors in other areas visit Tiger’s Contractor Network for referrals to our strategic partners.