Why Your Older HVAC Unit Could be a Big Problem

September 18, 2020
R22 HVAC Unit Problem

If your HVAC system is over a decade old, then it might be time for an upgrade. This change will do more than increase your bank account by saving on utility costs. The replacement of aging cooling systems using dangerous refrigerants is a long-term project with global participation from many countries like Canada and the United States. Home and business owners have 20 years to complete the update with more efficient and safer HVAC equipment.

The U.S. Government is helping the environment by getting rid of harmful chemicals

R-22 is a synthetic refrigerant. The United States agrees with the global community that this product is a danger to the ozone layer causing a massive hole above the South Pole. To slow the spread of this damage, the world is removing hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs by 2030. In 2010, only replacement refrigerant was to be sold globally. Starting in July 2020, America will no longer manufacture or buy this material from International sources. Repair specialists must rely on warehouse overstock and old equipment to source this chemical to fix older HVAC cooling systems.

Many technicians for HVAC heating and cooling businesses understand the phasing out and scaling down the process. Most homeowners are unaware of this process. Your old equipment will soon become more expensive to maintain because resources like parts and R-22 will not be easy to find. Repair specialists cannot use new refrigerants in old systems. The long span between 2010 and 2030 gives property owners the opportunity to replace old equipment as it wears out instead of making the entire world upgrade at once.

Dangers of using R-22 chemicals

This refrigerant causes conditions that let high levels of radiation back into the atmosphere. This chemical creates a hole in the ozone which interrupts global weather patterns and introduces higher temperatures worldwide. The damage lets more radiation through to the Earth, causing more instances of skin cancer worldwide.

Restrictions using R-22 until January 1, 2030

While people are under no order to stop using these refrigerants, it is illegal to release them into the air. Any technician must use a certified container to capture the colorless and odorless gas should they find a leak or when tearing down old units. By making repairs, they can keep older equipment safe to contain the HFCF until the person can upgrade to a system that accepts a suitable refrigerant like R-401A.

Protect your family and home

This gas is highly flammable. It will not only catch fire, but it also may explode. A leak in your HVAC air conditioning or central air unit can ignite with a spark from any nearby source. This leak can cause skin irritation to humans. In high doses, it can cause breathing issues and other unknown risks. Plus, leaks enter the atmosphere, making the entire problem worse.

If your HVAC heating and cooling unit is due for replacing, then swapping over to a new system now will prevent you from reaching the 2030 deadline. Additionally, you are ensuring your family and future generations are safer from harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer and dangerous problems for the Earth.

Why replacing your HVAC heating and cooling system now will save you money

Newer equipment like air conditioners and combination HVAC systems are much more energy-efficient. These machines must meet modern safety and operation standards. You can check the SEER energy rating which stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio for each model. The number lets you see which model saves the most energy, cools the best, and costs the least to operate.

Even if your home cooling unit is not due for replacing yet, it may be a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of upgrading sooner. These units will have an abundance of replacement parts readily available for routine repairs and maintenance. The savings you earn on your monthly heating and cooling costs may be enough to pay for the unit. Some homes retain a higher resale value should the owner decide to sell with newer HVAC equipment.

The choice is not always clear for every person. How these laws affect your situation, the way you feel about protecting the environment, and how much money you have available for upgrades may factor into your decision. Some people use the equity in the home to pay for items like new HVAC systems. Others find state grants and federal funding to help with the update.

Call American Service Company RVA to find out more about HVAC refrigerant changes or the importance of up fixing your system before it leaks harmful toxins into the air. Your health is not the only one at risk. Our team of professional HVAC technicians is ready to help you compare costs, new systems, or find solutions to keeping your older unit going until the time comes to swap it out. We are dedicated to offering people in Richmond, Woodlake, Moseley, Bellwood, Holly Hills, and Midlothian exceptional service and revolutionary HVAC systems that improve your quality of life and the air you breathe.