R-22 is perhaps the most popular air conditioner refrigerant today. It’s in the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) group, a series of chemicals that replaced the notoriously ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). But HCFCs are just a Band-Aid solution, and, like all “bandages”, they must be changed eventually.
Why Are HCFCs Being Replaced?
Any experienced air conditioner and heater repair specialist would know that HCFCs are likewise harmful to the planet. They are part of the reason why the recovery of the ozone hole has slowed since the late ‘90s.
Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been in the process of slowly but surely phasing them out. By 2030, the use of R-22 will be totally illegal in America.
HCFCs are being replaced by a new group of refrigerants called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs do not contain chlorine, which compromises the earth’s natural protection from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. One chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules, eradicating our planet’s atmospheric ozone faster than it can revert back to its previous state.
Then again, HFCs are not completely green themselves. While they do contribute to climate change, they’re good enough for the time being. These refrigerants will also likely be banned when more environmentally-friendly alternatives are developed.
Should an Air Conditioner Compatible With R-22 Be Replaced ASAP?
You have until 2029 to switch from R-22 refrigerant to a greener alternative like R-410A. However, the supply of R-22 will continue to dwindle as time goes by, making AC maintenance more expensive. From an environmental perspective, upgrading your air conditioner is a small sacrifice in exchange for keeping the earth safe and habitable for our posterity.
Schedule AC and Heater Repair in San Francisco In a Timely Manner
Refrigerant leakage, regardless of the substance, can be dangerous to the health, so schedule an air conditioner and heater repair accordingly. To diagnose and address a coolant leak or to learn more about an AC upgrade, call Schmitt Heating and Air Conditioning at (415) 689-7849 now!