As per the U.S. EPA website, the Montreal Protocol mandates that R-22 air conditioning refrigerant must be phased out across all developed countries. This slow phasing out of is already causing rising R-22 prices and many homeowners are feeling the pinch. So what are the exact reasons behind rising R-22 prices?
Let’s start with why R-22 is facing total phase-out. In an HCFC refrigerant, R22 is one of the components that cause depletion of the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol, combined with the Clean Air Act, aims to stop this severe ozone depletion. Thus, by 2020, all R-22 components would only be relying on refrigerants that have been recycled. Recycling would put an end to production and yet, estimates show that if the recycling starts currently, it would be enough to fulfill all requirements by 2020.
All these mandates are also in place to promote and ensure that the transition from R-22 to new ozone- and environmentally-friendly refrigerants is smooth and problem-free. Still, what are the core reasons behind rising R-22 prices?
• No estimates of a price rise in the immediate future
Since R-22 supplies should slowly fall short and then end completely, the next 20 to 30 years would see an escalation in the price of R-22. However, the price rise in the immediate future should not be as drastic.
• Increase in service costs
Even though no hikes in price are expected, the servicing costs would surely be hit. Since a lot of time is being provided to phase out the component slowly, the market would get a lot of time to be volatile and unpredictable. A similar situation occurred during the phase out of a component called R-12, which was used in air conditioning units.
• Buying a new unit
Products that use R-22 will continue to be available. However, it would be proactive to replace existing products with those that use ozone-friendly components and refrigerants instead of HCFC. The service and repair requirements for your existing systems would continue to cost you more, and it is advisable to invest in a new product altogether. Here are a few reasons why:
Since the new systems are more energy efficient, they lead to more savings for homeowners. By using the same or less amount of energy, the cooling is much better in these new efficient systems. It is said that even if the refrigerating and air conditioning unit is a decade old, it would still be wise to buy a new system.
There is no harm in having concern for the state of the environment. Ozone layer depletion harms everyone so everyone should do their part to help. The Clean Air Act also advises people to use more common sense while replacing their systems.
Thus, the R-22 prices will likely rise slowly but surely, and a practical homemaker would do well to replace their air conditioning unit sooner rather than later.
Post Author: andyc.