Since 2010, the country has been in the process of phasing out R22 refrigerant because of its effects on the earth’s ozone layer. As of January 1, 2020, the EPA ban on R22 will be in full force. R22 can no longer be manufactured or imported after this time, nor can R22 be used in new commercial heating and cooling installations after this date.

Is Time Up for Your Old Commercial HVAC System?

The price of R22 has steadily climbed over the course of the phase-out. After January 1, 2020, R22 will be available only by purchasing from recycled or stockpiled supplies, at a hefty premium. If your commercial system needs a refrigerant top-off to continue to run, you may find yourself balking at the cost.

How Do I Know if My HVAC Uses R22?

It’s best to consult a trained commercial HVAC technician to be certain what type of refrigerant your system uses. No R22 systems were manufactured after 2010, though some remained on the market. In addition, R410 systems have been manufactured since 1996, so it can be difficult to determine by purchase date alone.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your R22 System

Replacing your R22 system is just a matter of time. However, in these scenarios, commercial HVAC repair companies recommend replacing sooner than later.

  • HVAC System Regularly Leaks Refrigerant
    If you’ve had to top-off the refrigerant in your system recently, this indicates a leak. Because refrigerants circulate under high pressure, and components age over time, these leaks typically worsen, releasing more and more refrigerant year-after-year.
  • HVAC System Manufactured in 2010 or Earlier
    HVAC systems only last 10-15 years, on average. The last units made with R22 were manufactured 10-years ago, and old enough to warrant replacement.

Considering Waiting One More Year?

Because you’re not the only one with this thought in mind, be prepared to expect higher prices and longer wait times next year. Demand drives up the prices for systems, and even if you are able to locate an affordable new system, you’ll likely join a throng of others waiting for a knowledgeable commercial service technician to install your system. If your system goes down during this time, you could find yourself going weeks without heating or air conditioning.

What If My Business is Short on Funds for HVAC System Replacement?

Financing is available to help you pay for a new commercial system. In addition, talk to your heating and cooling contractor about available energy efficiency incentives from your state and local government and rebate programs from your utility provider. These, in combination with fewer repair bills and the far lower energy costs you’ll enjoy with a new commercial HVAC system, can help you offset the costs of replacement.

On the fence about the replacement of your older R22 system? Schedule a complimentary consultation from a qualified HVAC contractor at H&H Commercial Services today.