The majority of the multi population of the world has gotten accustomed to keeping warm in the winter, and cool in the summer with the use of HVAC systems. No one gives them much consideration until they malfunction. They go throughout their daily activities knowing that their comfort is being taken care of. When the air conditioning starts to give problems during the summer, the first thing that people do is call a reliable service to repair or replace the unit. With that done, the consumer has nothing else to be concerned about. In recent months, there has been much talk about the type of refrigerant that is used in the HVAC systems. Everyone is aware that R22 is the usual freon that is used. That was of no particular interest to homeowners and residents who needed to have it in their units. Customers only knew that if needed, the professional service team would provide it. The state government has determined that the regular R22 refrigerant that has been used for years will soon become obsolete. This could mean that a more costly refrigerant will be used as a replacement. This change could have a detrimental effect on customers worldwide.
The reason for the R22 phase out
Some may say that changing from one refrigerant to another would not be an issue. Some people are actually listening, and know that a problem does exist. Changing to another freon would affect people in every aspect of life, especially in the home. Many do not understand the reason behind this change. To begin, The Montreal Protocol that was finalized in 1987 was an agreement, globally, to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by staging out any substances that were produced or consumed that would deplete the ozone layer. The ozone layer filters out ultraviolet radiation worldwide. Ultraviolet rays have been linked to skin cancer, cataracts, and a reduction in agricultural performances. A result of this is higher food prices at the stores. Marine ecosystems have also been disturbed by the ultra violet radiation. The R22 refrigerant that the world has depended on for comfort and other reasons has been considered a large factor in the depletion of the ozone layer, and there must be a replacement that could do as well in this small aspect of pollution control.
What this means to consumers and how it affects them
The R22 refrigerant is essential to keeping air conditioning units cold. Under the Clean Air Act sections 601 through 607, the EPA regulates that all Classes 1 and 11 substances that are currently used in air conditioning and other refrigeration equipment has to be phased out no later than 2020. The R22 freon is the most common used in refrigeration today. This means that if customers have air conditioning systems that are over 10 years old, then they will o longer be able ot have them repaired if they are in need of freon, and they will be more costly to maintain. For the average homeowner, this means that they will need to have new air conditioning systems installed in their home in order to remain comfortable. New air conditioning units are already expensive, and the demand for them after 2020 will only drive the cost up even higher which may make it difficult for many people especially the older population. The impact of the R22 phase out could be devastating to consumers worldwide. If it were mandated that all of the old air conditioning systems had to be changed out today, over half of the population would be without the energy to keep them cool because they could not afford the new products. Except for minor electrical repairs to the unit, nothing else could be done to restore them. The phase out of R22 will affect the majority of the world population.
What to do next
There is no need to panic. The Environmental Protection Agency is taking the gradual approach to how they will restrict the use of R22 refrigerant since modern society is dependent upon its’ use. Consumers can start taking steps now for the next phase. Everyone should identify what kind of unit they are currently using, and if it was installed before or after January 2010. Many of the appliances that use refrigerants have a sticker or a tag attached to the back of the unit that will have details about the kind of refrigerant it uses. This information can be cross referenced with the owners manual and the manufacturer website. If it is discovered that the unit uses R22, and the manufacturer is not making any more of them, by law the consumer can still have that unit serviced with the R22 with one major difference. The cost will be extremely higher than what was previously paid for the refrigerant. The customer will see a spike in the cost of the R22 which may make it something that the average person can not afford. With the supply and demand for the R22 decreases, the cost of it will surely increase.
The R22 that is used in air conditioning systems in homes and businesses is also used in automobile air conditioners. Having the car air conditioner checked at the beginning of the hot weather season is common for most drivers. They generally have all fluids topped off including the freon for the a/c. This, too, will become a more costly expense. Vehicles are being manufactured today that already use the new refrigerant, so this change may not be such a drastic one, and it may not impact many drivers. The R410 is the new refrigerant that will replace the R22 for air conditioning systems, and other appliances. This new refrigerant is more environmental friendly, and it prolongs the life of the unit. It is also more efficient, and unlike the R22, it has HFC which does not harm the ozone layer. All of the new air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, and other appliances, are manufactured to use the new refrigerant. This refrigerant became the standard by the industry back in 2015. The R410A is a better coolant than the previous freon because if absorbs heat better, and it does not require the compressors to work as hard. The phase out of R22 has been ongoing for a while now, and with only a few months to go before 2020, consumers who are aware that there will be a change are gearing up for what could be a major event in their lives. This is, of course, the expense that will be incurred in order to change air conditioning systems, and other appliances if they need freon repair. As of today, the phase out has been quiet, but effective.