Pondering system replacement? The phase out of R22 next year should be an important factor in your decision to invest in a new HVAC unit. If your system is leaking refrigerant, this decision is critical. To avoid the need for unexpected replacement during high cooling season, keep these things in mind:

R22 Refrigerant Becomes Illegal in the U.S. January 1, 2020

R22 is being phased out worldwide due to its harmful effects on the earth’s ozone layer. R22 has been phased out gradually over the past few years based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations. After January 1, 2020, R22 can no longer be manufactured in or imported to the United States by commercial HVAC contractors in Philadelphia.

What Does the Phase Out Mean for Your R22 System?

After January 1, 2020, if your commercial heating and cooling system is in need of ANY service requiring the addition of refrigerant to the system, it can no longer be repaired. After this date, R22 systems will become obsolete. Barring simple electrical repairs, your system’s days are numbered. There will be no more ‘getting by’ with emergency repairs and topping off old, leaky HVAC systems. This will leave your business with 3 possible options:

  • Wait until your system breaks down to replace it.
  • Retrofit your old R22 system to work with another refrigerant.
  • Proactively replace your system.

Which Option for Addressing R22 Issues is Best for Your Business?

Not every option is realistic or smart for every business.

  • Thinking of waiting?
    For most this is largely a non-option. Commercial HVAC repair and service customers must realize, system breakdown never occur at an opportune time, and system replacement does not happen overnight. Operating a business during times of extreme temperatures without comfort control presents critical health and safety risks, with the unexpected timing of a breakdown putting business productivity on the line.
  • Thinking of retrofitting?
    Retrofitting for use with a different refrigerant is not possible for all systems, and requires evaluation by an experienced commercial HVAC technician to determine if this might work. For systems not operating at peak efficiency, which are especially old or leaky, experts are unlikely to recommend spending money on a retrofit.
  • Considering proactive replacement?
    For large commercial customers, this may encompass a costly replacement. Though this is bad when you know it is coming, having to deal with the costs and inconvenience of replacement without warning is much worse.

Why Avoid Emergency HVAC Replacement?

System replacement during the peak summer season may take quite a while due to greater demand and limited supply of systems and labor due to the R22 refrigerant phase out. For larger businesses with multiple systems, proactive replacement can also allow you spread out the expense. An HVAC pro can help you prioritize which units to replace first and develop a strategy that works for both your budget and the phase out timeline.

Plan for success. Stay ahead of obstacles associated with the R22 refrigerant phase out and avoid system replacement surprises. Schedule a complimentary consultation from a qualified HVAC contractor from H&H Commercial Services today.