Environmental sustainability is an increasingly popular topic that has serious consequences for the residents of Arizona. To help prevent further environmental damage, many countries have started to phase out commonly used hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) such as R-22 refrigerants. The regulation in place for R-22 varies from region to region. If you are an Arizona homeowner, it is important to understand the laws governing the use of R-22 and the implications of using it in your air conditioning system.
The Phasing Out of R-22
Freon, otherwise known as R-22, is a popular refrigerant that is used in HVAC and refrigeration systems. It has been around for several decades even though it has been proven to harm the planet’s ozone layer. Because of this refrigerant’s alarming impact on climate change, the United States has joined many other countries in phasing out its use.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is a specific plan with dates for reducing the use of R-22 until it is completely phased out. The importation and production of R-22 in the United States has been banned since Jan. 1, 2020. However, there are still existing stocks of R-22 that can be used and recycled across various parts of the country.
Current R-22 Status in Arizona
Arizona follows the same regulations for phasing out R-22 that are used on a federal level. This means that if your air conditioning system was manufactured before 2010, it likely uses R-22 as a refrigerant. If this applies to you, then you can continue to use the refrigerant until the R-22 supply runs out, or you replace your entire system. Therefore, HVAC servicing for systems that use R-22 is still legal in Arizona.
It is important to note that the availability of R-22 will continue to become more limited until it eventually disappears. This has led to an increase in costs. The growing scarcity and increasing price of R-22 will make it financially inefficient to keep a system that uses this refrigerant. Some homeowners might find it more beneficial to replace their HVAC with sustainable technology.
Additional Information About R-22
While dealing with the outdated refrigerant R-22, it is important to keep some things in mind. Use these tips to make sure you are complying with your local laws.
Until R-22 is completely phased out, it is crucial to ensure its proper disposal to decrease its environmental impact. If not properly handled, R-22 can do a lot of harm to the ozone layer, increasing the impact of global warming. When servicing or replacing your old air conditioning system, be sure to rely on qualified professionals who can safely handle this toxic refrigerant according to EPA regulations.
Whether you use R-22 or other refrigerants, your air conditioning unit requires regular maintenance to continue to work optimally. It is a good idea to schedule annual inspections that identify and address any issues in a timely manner.
As an Arizona resident, you must keep in mind that federal regulations of R-22 can change. Keep a close eye on your municipal and statewide environmental agencies for updates.
The process of transitioning to an alternate refrigerant starts by making a full inspection of your system. Eventually, your system will have to be converted to one compatible with refrigerant R-410A. This involves replacing several components, the compressor, the expansion valve, and other equipment to ensure the best performance.
Is It Better to Replace or Modify?
Another consideration is the overall performance of your current AC system. If you are experiencing frequent repairs, or you notice that your air conditioning is malfunctioning in any way, it may be time for a replacement. It may be more reasonable to upgrade your HVAC system to a more cost-efficient unit rather than paying more to maintain one that uses R-22. With a new HVAC system, you will also save money on electrical bills while decreasing your environmental impact.
These are some of the most common signs that your air conditioning system may be ready for a replacement:
- Blowing warm air
- Increase in electric cost
- Weak airflow
- Strange noises
- Unusual or repulsive odors
Once you have a professional inspection by an HVAC professional, you will know the status of your system and will be able to determine if you should replace it or adapt it into one that accepts alternate refrigerants.
When choosing a replacement, it is best to look for a model with the Energy Star certification. These environmentally friendly and modern systems operate according to the strict criteria enforced by the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They ensure maximum energy efficiency that reduces your energy expenses while decreasing your carbon footprint.
Additionally, in the state of Arizona, you can also expect to see multiple types of rebates and incentives to help you afford a new upgraded energy-efficient air conditioning system. It is a great way for you to offset the expenses involved in replacing your cooling system.
Although R-22 is still legal to use in Arizona homes with older AC units, you will certainly need to consider your next steps as the product eventually leaves the market completely. Be sure to consult with an experienced HVAC company that can properly assess your existing air conditioning unit to provide you with the best options that meet your needs. A new energy-efficient air conditioning system is a smart long-term investment that will provide you with significant savings.
At AC by J, our HVAC team is experienced in dealing with homes with older air conditioning units that use the R-22 refrigerant. In addition to cooling and heating services, we provide electrical and indoor air quality solutions. Plumbing services, including sump pumps, water heater installation, drain cleaning, leak detection, and sewer line repairs, are also available to the Arizona communities of Scottsdale and Phoenix Valley.
We offer emergency services 24/7. Since 1983, we have been dedicated to providing skilled and qualified professionals that practice the highest standards in the industry. Contact [company_name} today to find out more about R-22 refrigerant and other HVAC issues.