Due to the growing environmental concerns worldwide, products that cause damage to the ozone layer are being reduced before being totally phased out. As we discussed before, one such product is R-22, a refrigerant that has been used in air conditioning and heating systems for over four decades. Its release via leaks adds to the depletion of the ozone layer. The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA is enforcing a reduction in R-22 production for 2013 with a goal of a total phase out by 2020. Prices have doubled and even tripled over the past months and years, leaving many homeowners wondering how to stay ahead of rising R-22 costs. Let’s look at some factors and steps to help you and your wallet out.
What will happen to those who still use R-22?
Though R-22 can continue to be used in maintaining air conditioning and heating systems, this may become too costly. Since supply is already limited, a rise in prices and decline in availability can be expected as the phase-out approaches.
Options for those with existing R-22 cooling and heating systems:
• They can still continue to use it as long that they continue to maintain their unit. By means of regular servicing, higher maintenance costs and environmental damage due to refrigerant leaks and mechanical breakdowns can be minimized.
• For homeowners whose R-22 system is more than 10 years old, it would be advisable to replace it right away with a new R-410A system because of the following reasons:
a. Since the new R-410A systems have a smaller carbon footprint, they are not harmful to the ozone layer and therefore are more environmental-friendly.
b. These new systems will allow them to save on energy costs. Even those with R-22 systems that are 10 years old will be able to have significant savings on energy when they replace them with R-410A systems, which are more efficient.
c. A majority of these new systems come with a 10- or 12-year warranty.
Important things to consider when purchasing new systems:
When homeowners purchase an energy-efficient system, they not only save on energy and maintenance, but they also do their part in saving the environment. Air conditioners, nowadays, use a lot less energy to generate the same cooling effect given by air conditioners made in the past. Replacing their 10-year-old air conditioner with a newer, more energy efficient unit can give them considerable savings. In this regard, products that have the Energy Star Label can let them save from 10% to 40% on electricity bills each year. As a whole, in deciding what systems to choose, they should consider the cost, performance and reliability together with energy efficiency.
To get ahead of rising R-22 costs, it is important to consider replacing this system with the more energy efficient R-410A system. This is because the cost of servicing will continue to rise and eventually, will no longer be available. It’s better to start with the smart approach to cutting down expenses and at the same time, saving the environment.
One way to be sure your new air conditioning system is up-to-date and earth-friendly is to have it protected by a home warranty from American Home Shield. That way, when it’s time to be replaced, AHS will take care of securing you a quality replacement.
Post Author: andyc.