Refrigerant is a working medium used in refrigerant cycle of air conditioning systems and heat pumps where in most cases they undergo a repeated phase transition from a liquid to a gas and back again. Refrigerant varies dependent on the chemical composition it is made up of and is not a one size fits all for each unit. R22 is made up of carbon, chlorine, hydrogen, and fluorine and has been banned from production and importation in the United States as of January 1, 2020. This has been put in place by the EPA as this freon causes harmful effects on the ozone layer. What does this mean as a consumer?
R22 is still currently available as recovered, recycled, or reclaimed refrigerant. Although this does not make R22 units obsolete at this time, with the current supply and demand we have seen significant increases in price and only expect to see further increases as the supply diminishes.
As this freon becomes obsolete unit conversions or replacements will need to take place which come at a cost. Converting an R22 system is not a simple process, this could include but is not limited to:
- Replacement of the compressor
- Replacement of the compressor oil
- Replacement of the evaporator
- Replacement of the condenser
- Replacement of the copper lines
These extensive system changes are required as differing freon types have very different heat-transfer properties and use chemically incompatible lubricating oils. This brings up the hard decision to convert the unit or to replace the equipment.
As a contractor Pleune Service Company strives to be as transparent as possible about these processes. We make every effort to inform our customers of major changes ahead of time, such as this, so you are well informed and decisions can be made during your budgeting processes. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when these updates will have to be made.
Our representatives are available to help answer any questions you may have. Please call us at 616-243-5434.