If you’ve got an older air conditioner in your Georgetown, KY, home, finding a replacement refrigerant could be a top concern. Many outdated AC systems run on Freon or R-22 refrigerant. Unfortunately, this refrigerant has been completely phased out in the United States as of January 2020. R-22 is no longer being imported or produced. This means that when older air conditioners are serviced, they’re drawing from reclaimed R-22 supplies, recovered R-22, or stockpiles. With a finite supply and continued demand, R-22 is now more expensive than it’s ever been before. So what are your options?
Is Keeping Your Old Heating System Worthwhile?
Even without the increasingly high cost of R-22, any air conditioner that still runs on Freon may not be worth the costs of upgrades, major alterations, or costly repairs. Most air conditioners lose nearly half of their efficiency after approximately 10 to 12 years of continued use. As time goes on, these efficiency losses continue and progressively increase. Not only is finding Freon to service older air conditioners costly, but using these units is costly as well. Having a brand new air conditioner installed might require more spending upfront, but it will definitely save you more over time.
Can You Safely Use a Replacement Refrigerant in Your Air Conditioner?
There are several replacement refrigerants that are designed to closely mimic the operating temperatures and operating pressures of R-22. These alternatives to Freon are non-ozone depleting hydrofluorocarbons. They’re more affordable, better for the environment, and often easier to acquire. These include:
- R-438A (ISCEON)
- R-422D (ISCEON)
Unfortunately, however, you cannot add any replacement refrigerant to an air conditioner that already contains Freon. These refrigerants are comparable but not compatible. More importantly, combining HVAC refrigerants of any type is illegal. It’s additionally vital to note that Freon replacements cannot be used in air conditioners that use mineral oil as a compressor lubricant.
How Replacement Refrigerants Impact AC Warranties
If your air conditioner is still under warranty, using a replacement refrigerant will immediately void this agreement. No air conditioner manufacturer is willing to warrant equipment that’s been serviced with a refrigerant that it hasn’t yet tested. There are also too many variables that can impact system safety when alternative refrigerants are used. As such, alternative refrigerants are generally best suited for condensers or heat pumps that are no longer warranted.
Finding an affordable R-22 replacement is really only half the battle. You’ll have to deal with a voided warranty, and you’ll need to ensure that your cooling system is completely Freon-free before adding the replacement refrigerant in. At Titan Heating & Air, we offer far better alternatives. Our team can install an efficient and far more modern cooling system in your Georgetown, KY, home. We also offer heating system installation, maintenance, and repairs. Call us today and we’ll help you find the most affordable way to stop using Freon.