Have You Switched from R-22 to R-410A AC Unit?
R-22 flows through the majority of air conditioners in use today. However, the chemical, also known as R-22, won’t last much longer. That’s because the government has taken steps to take it off the market. Already, prices have hit record highs, and it translates into surprisingly huge air conditioning repair bills for unaware homeowners. That’s one of the reasons for the recent wave of houses installing new systems using R-410A. Learn why you should make the switch now before you’re hit with a repair bill you can’t afford.
The R-22 Phase Out
Back in 1992, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) found out that R-22 depletes the ozone layer when it leaks out. They then set a plan into motion to completely stop production of the chemical by the year 2020. In 2010, manufacturers could no longer make AC units using R-22. Today, the price of R-22 has nearly tripled, and it will only continue to rise as the shortage grows stronger. The cost to repair a simple R-22 leak can reach into the hundreds of dollars. With the awareness of R-22’s demise, many households are beginning to switch over to AC units using the new refrigerant, R-410A.
Why Not Remove the R-22 and Refill the AC with R-410a?
Looking to solve the problem with the least expensive solution, many homeowners suggest replacing the R-22 with $-410a. However, it’s not that simple. R-410a doesn’t share the same chemical properties as R-22. It runs at a much higher pressure. Systems designed to handle R-22 will not be able to handle the huge amount of force, and parts will burst. While it’s theoretically possible to overhaul an old system to handle R-410A, it’s rarely done in practice. Manufacturers cannot guarantee the safety or results of the system, and it would likewise cost too much in labor expenses. Instead, you’re simply much better off applying the money toward a new system engineered to handle R-410a.
Advantages of Air Conditioning Installation with R-410a
If you decide to install an AC system running R-410a, you’ll enjoy these advantages:
- Tax Credits – Not only is the EPA working to eliminate R-22, but also they’re offering rewards for those who install efficient systems with R-410a. You can take a tax credit on your federal income tax. Also, check with your local municipality. Many offer a credit toward your property taxes for energy efficient upgrades.
- Rebates – In addition to tax credits, your local utility company may also offer a cash-back rebate for choosing a R-410A system. For example, Georgia Power offers rebates on AC units, hot water heaters and more.
- Green & Friendly – New systems with R-410a won’t harm the environment. There is zero risk of damaging the ozone layer with R-410A.
- Smaller Electric Bill – Heating and air conditioning are the largest portion of most power bills. With a more efficient system, you’ll see a drastic drop in your power bill.
- Lower Maintenance Costs – If your system is 10 years or older, then you’re probably already experiencing the effect of air conditioning repair costs. With a new R-410a system, you’ll enjoy fewer and lower repairs. If you schedule routine maintenance, you can expect to extend the life of your system and keep costs even lower.
The Best Time to Switch to a R-410a System
The best time to switch is before you’re hit by the high costs of repairing a R-22 system. You should take into account the age of your current system. As a rule of thumb, you’ll save significantly on your electric bill by upgrading systems older than 10 years. However, you’ll need to factor in how well you’ve maintained the unit. If you’ve been repairing the system frequently, then it may be time to upgrade. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the average American home spends 46 percent of energy costs on heating and cooling. In the sweltering heat of Georgia summers, it’s even higher.
For Those Who Recently Purchased an R-22 System:
If you bought a system running R-22 in the last few years, then you probably aren’t yet ready to upgrade again. That’s understandable. However, you should take the necessary steps to protect yourself from the rising cost of R-22. The best thing you can do is properly maintain your unit to prevent R-22 leaks. It’s best to have your system tuned up in spring and fall, after the major heating and cooling seasons. Tune-ups cost far less than emergency repairs. Plus, you can save more by signing up for a preventative maintenance plan. Take good care of your system before it leaks R-22, and you won’t suffer high refill costs.
How a R-410a System Can Pay for Itself
A modern system running R-410a can literally pay for itself. When you factor in rebates, tax credits, a lower electric bill and eliminating high repair costs, you can finance a new system and see more money in your pocket each month.
Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning
Since 1986, Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning has been performing air conditioning installation and repair in Savannah, GA, and surrounding areas. We offer preventative maintenance plans for older systems using R-22. Likewise, we install new systems running R-410a. If you’d like a free estimate on replacing your old unit, then call us today.