What is Refrigerant and Why Has it Gotten So Expensive?

Refrigerant, what does it mean for HVAC?

Refrigerant is an important substance or mixture that can be used in the refrigeration cycle or heat pump. This substance usually comes in liquid form and it will be converted to a gas and vice versa. There are some common examples of chemicals for creating this mixture, for example, fluorocarbons (chlorofluorocarbons CFC or hydrochlorofluorocarbons HCFC), sulfur dioxide, ammonia, non-halogenated hydrocarbons (for example, propane), etc. This refrigerant is commonly used in many air conditioning systems. You need to replace this refrigerant in your HVAC system regularly, so you can maintain the performance of the air conditioning system in your home or office.

Many old AC systems are still using a common refrigerant called R-22. This is a special substance that can be found in many old cooling systems. This product is a standard in the HVAC industry because it can provide an excellent job in helping your HVAC system transfer the hot air from indoors to the outdoors. However, this product can cause some negative impacts on the environment. Because of this reason, the US government has implemented laws and regulations. These laws and regulations will limit the production or import of this type of refrigerant.

The Price of the Refrigerant Keeps Increasing

This refrigerant is still available in the United States, even in Connecticut, but the price keeps increasing, sometimes significantly. The amount of this refrigerant is strictly limited by the government’s laws and regulations. Also, the demand for this type of refrigerant is still high. When you are planning to recharge your HVAC system with R-22, you are going to spend sometimes more than $500. Larger systems usually require more refrigerant than the smaller ones. Therefore, you are going to pay a lot for refrigerant when you have some large HVAC units on your property.

R-22 is limited and banned in certain states in the United States. This substance can cause some harmful effects on the environment because it has some components that will destroy the ozone layer. Some negative components in this substance include chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC). When the ozone layer is damaged, the ultraviolet will enter the earth very easily. As a result, we are going to be more susceptible to radiation. Many experts believe that the limitation on these substances can reduce the destructive effects on the ozone layer.

Many companies are refraining from making this refrigerant anymore because of complicated rules and regulations from the government. This situation will lead to high demand and low supply. The cost is predicted to continue to skyrocket in the next couple of months. When your AC units need to be repaired during the peak season this year, you are going to expect to pay a high rate for this refrigerant. The peak season will be around this summer season.

Convert Your HVAC System to the New One

If you want to save a lot of money, you can consider replacing your HVAC units with new ones. When you purchase a new AC system, you can get an additional tax credit that can reduce the overall price of your AC unit. You can visit the official site of the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America), especially when you want to know the total savings that you are going to get by buying new AC systems with an energy-efficient system.

Many new AC units will use up to 30 – 50% less energy than the old AC units. These units are going to use an eco-friendly refrigerant that is still affordable for most people. You can save a lot of your money when using your new AC unit. This unit will have less cooling energy costs than the old one. If you want to upgrade your AC system to a new one, you can always call us at Highwood Mechanical Contractors, Inc today!

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