The R-22 refrigerant phaseout could have an impact on your budget if your cooling system uses this refrigerant. Its use and production have both been scaled back per the conditions of the Montreal Protocol, which the U.S. signed. Scientists found that R-22 contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer and increases global warming. The protocol is global and participating countries must reduce the manufacture of this chemical, phasing it out altogether by 2020. Systems using R-22 are no longer manufactured after 2009, but pre-2010 systems still use R-22 for replenishment. Because the supply is restricted, the price has and will continue to climb, making this an expensive refill. Homeowners do have options, however, to deal with the R-22 refrigerant phaseout. The first is to keep the system components as clean as possible and the second is to replace older equipment that uses R-22 refrigerant. Any cooling system that's 10 years or older likely uses R-22.


Keeping the air filter clean inside the air handler reduces the likelihood of dust covering the evaporator coil inside. Dust and dirt contribute to small leaks in the coil, which can also contribute to leaking refrigerant. Hosing off the coils in the outdoor condenser will also prevent leaks from forming.


Most new cooling systems use R410-A as the refrigerant—a more efficient, less costly and safer product. The minimum energy efficiency of new air conditioners and heat pumps stands with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13, and if you're replacing one that has a 10 SEER or lower, your energy bills will drop substantially. New technologies for cooling systems provide more comfort and convenience, with better humidity removal and quieter operation. To learn more about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout and your existing HVAC equipment, contact Gilman Heating and Cooling. We provide top-notch HVAC services for the Richmond, Ashland, Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover and Glen Allen areas.  

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