Some Important Advice to Cape Cod property owners with older ACs.
Prices for R-22 refrigerant (aka Freon) have risen sharply over the past few years. Here’s why: A little over 25 years ago, the EPA ordered the gradual phasing out of R-22 as part of the international treaty (the “Montreal Protocol”) aimed at reversing the thinning of the Earth’s critical ozone layer. This thinning is responsible for dramatic increases in skin cancer and cataracts.
The good news: Recent research confirms the fact that the notorious “hole” in the ozone layer has indeed begun to heal. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/antarctic-ozone-hole-healing-fingerprints/
The bad news: Air conditioner repair costs for older units will continue to soar as a result of the spiraling costs and increasing shortage of the R-22 refrigerant.
The 1990 Clean Air Act ended production in 2010 for new air conditioning units “charged” with R-22. Production of the refrigerant itself was immediately reduced by 75%. By 2015, that reduction had reached 90%. The pace of reduction has picked up. As of January 1, 2015, the EPA ordered an immediate drop from 51 million pounds to 22 million pounds, then to 18 million pounds in 2016, 13 million pounds in 2017, 9 million in 2018, and 4 million in 2019, and finally zero U.S. production in 2020.
Although some R-22 is still being recovered and reclaimed from units we replace, the amounts are not nearly enough to meet demand. The resulting shortages have led to dramatic price increases. By 2016, the price for the R-22 refrigerant has more than quadrupled from its 2010 level. By contrast, the cost of the environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant that is used in today’s air conditioners is at the same level Freon was in 2010.
Owners of older air conditioners need to take action now to protect themselves from these spiraling repair costs. Here are Lincoln's recommendations:
- Service your equipment every season (ACs once and heat pumps twice a year). Although your air conditioner or heat pump is a closed system, leaks do occur. Always a good idea for maximum comfort and efficiency, our precision tune-up will detect leaks early preventing expensive re-charges not to mention damage to the environment.
- Schedule a no-pressure no-obligation consultation. Lincoln will help you select the right replacement for your comfort goals and for your budget. You'll learn just what you can expect in savings with today's higher efficiency environmentally-friendly replacements. You'll know just how soon you can expect your new system to pay for itself, what impact today's higher efficiencies will have on your electric bills, and what you may gain in family comfort.
We will collect the refrigerant from your old unit and send it to a recycler. Unfortunately some disreputable contractors will release these harmful chemicals into the environment.
Call 508-428-0974 to schedule
your maintenance service and/or no-pressure consultation.