Do you own an R22 air conditioner that uses the old R-22 refrigerant that will soon be phased out? Then you might be experiencing the hassle of increasingly frequent R-22 AC repair services, increasing refrigerant price, and a decline in refrigerant supply.
Deciding what to do with your system may be quite complicated, so this article will help you come up with the best choice for your business or home.
R-22 Production Ban
EPA has already issued a ban on the import and production of R-22 refrigerant by January 1, 2020. After that date, any system relying on R-22 that needs AC repair services will be forced to depend on potentially expensive reclaimed refrigerant or R-22 stockpiles. Take note: the new regulation will not affect those who want to continue using their working R-22 ACs. However, if a system needs to be charged with a refrigerant, there will be possible difficulties.
Potential Problems if You Don’t Upgrade Your R-22 AC
Hanging on to your old R-22 air conditioner until 2020 when R-22 will no longer be available does pose several risks, particularly for businesses that rely on air conditioning. Some issues may look serious but can actually be inexpensive and easy to resolve. Problems concerning the electrical components usually fall under this category.
Is your system making too much noise that makes you think it’s about to die? Don’t worry – the problem may not be as bad as you think. It’s likely that you only need some simple AC repair services or maintenance work.
Once the compressor fails, especially on an old R-22 AC unit, it’s typically a sign that you need a replacement. Since the compressor serves as the heart of the unit, spending a huge amount to fix it may not be worth it. Most of the time, compressor failure is caused by another underlying problem that can only be discovered once you replace it.
In terms of problems that require adding refrigerant to the unit (i.e. leaking refrigerant), the cost of AC repair might be too expensive for an R-22 AC. In that case, you’re better off with a retrofit or complete replacement.
However, not all systems can be fixed with retrofitting. There are many technical issues that a professional needs to examine first before they can then identify your options.
Prepare for Expensive Repairs
If your AC has been recently repaired, you’ll probably notice that the cost was higher than it used to be. That’s because the declining production of R-22 has led to rising prices of the said refrigerant. The main reason for the price hike is basic supply and demand. If you need to add refrigerant to your system for an AC repair, expect the service to be increasingly expensive as 2020 approaches.
Take Advantage of the Tax Break
There’s some good news: under the new tax law, you can write off the whole price of all AC components in the year you bought them. That’s a major difference from the old tax rules and for an average system, that can result in a tax break of $5000 or more. The savings can be even more substantial for a large commercial system that has many components.