Sure it’s a little early to talk about air conditioners and of course it’s always better to think spring than winter. I have decided to take the time and write a short article about central air and R-22.
As of December 31, 2009 the Federal Government and EPA have required all AC manufacturers to stop making air conditioners with R-22 in them. The impact of R-22 on the environment has caused them to ban the units made with R-22. You can still purchase R-22 for your existing air conditioner and it will be available for many years to come. So don’t worry if you have an R-22 AC unit; you will be just fine. It will be a lot more expensive to charge the system with R-22 because just like R-12 in cars the price has gone thru the roof. R-22 is up approximately 300% in price and will keep going up. There should be no reason for you to purchase an R-22 system when the better R410-A system that is not discontinued is available at the same price of an old discontinued R-22 unit.
If a heating and cooling dealer is telling you to buy an R-22 system, it’s probably because they have some left over that they want get rid of or they are not properly trained to install an R410-A system. We often hear about little companies or one man fly by night shops that work out of their homes, telling consumers to purchase an R-22 system. The fact of the matter is why someone would sell you a system that is discontinued; it costs more money to repair if a leak occurred. They could have sold you a new AC with environmentally friendly refrigerant for the same price. Our only guess to this is that the contractor is not very informed or is just plain misleading you. So, if you’re in the market for a new AC stay away from R-22; put your trust in R410-A from a reliable heating & cooling contractor.