R22 is a refrigerant that has been in use for many years. However, it is currently in the last phase of a long-term phase out and will no longer be a viable option for people who need to use refrigerants. This refrigerant was commonly used in residential air conditioning units and the phase-out can affect you in a number of ways. With this being the case, it is important that you know what your replacement options are and how viable each of them will be for your particular situation.
Why You Need To Look At The Options
Before you can look at the R22 replacement options that are available, you need to know why you have to look at this. R22 is being phased out and has been for the past few decades. This is due to the fact that it is harmful to the environment.
As the phase-out reaches completion, you will no longer be able to purchase R22 for your air conditioning or refrigeration system. This will lead to you having a system that cannot run as there systems need to have a refrigerant. The only stocks that will be available will be stockpiles and this will only be an option for a limited amount of time. As the stockpiles start to dwindle, the cost of the refrigerant will increase and there will reach a point where there is no more R22 available anywhere.
A Total System Replacement
When it comes to R22 replacement options, the most extreme will generally be a total system replacement. As the name suggests, this option will replace everything in your cooling system from the electrical wiring to the indoor units to the pipework. As you might imagine, this option can seem rather daunting for most people because of the scale of the process.
However, it is important to note that this can sometimes be the best solution to your R22 replacement. When you have the whole system replaced, you will ensure that you have the most up to date equipment. This equipment will generally be more energy efficient and will run on a newer and more environmentally friendly refrigerant. You also will not have to worry about replacing your system anytime soon when you have this done.
Of course, you will need to weigh these benefits against the cost of a total system replacement. There is also the amount of time that it will take for this to be completed. The scale of the replacement will make it time-consuming and this might be something that you want to avoid when possible. This is particularly true if you are heading toward the warmer months as you do not want to be without a cooling system.
Replace Only The Indoor And Outdoor Units
If you have a large cooling system in place, you do not want to have to be without it for a prolonged period of time. This is particularly true for businesses that need to run their air conditioning unit for operational purposes. The best solution in these cases will generally be to replace only the indoor and outdoor units.
When you do this, the existing infrastructure of the system will remain. The installation costs will also be much lower and the impact on your home and business will also be reduced. This is a partial replacement solution and you need to keep in mind that some parts of your system will then be older than others. While this might not seem like a problem, it could cause issues later on when you have to replace the older parts.
Of course, it is important to consider the other benefits of the partial R22 replacement solution. The replace will be faster as only part of the unit is being replaced. The overall costs of the replacement will be lower and you will be able to slowly bring the rest of the infrastructure up to speed. This allows you to spread the cost of getting a full system replacement which is better for the budget that most people and businesses will have.
Using A Drop-In Refrigerant
When it comes to the drop-in replacement option, there are a number of different opinions. There are some people who believe that this is not a viable option at all when it comes from replacing R22. However, it is important to note that all opinions state that this will only be a temporary solution and should not be used in the long-term.
The reason for this is the fact that a drop-in refrigerant can damage the reliability of your system and negatively impact the performance. This will leave you with the chance of the system failing at any time and you will spend a lot of continued maintenance. There is also the fact that most manufacturers will not support this replacement method and this could cause further complications for you.
The primary benefit of using this replacement option is that you will reduce your short-term costs. The initial cost of a drop-in refrigerant will be minimal when compared to a full system replacement or replacing only the indoor and outdoor units. However, this benefit will be negated when you look at the long-term implication of the replacement option.
Over the long-term, you will find that your system requires more maintenance. This will start to increase the general costs of running the system and the end result could be more than a total system replacement. The only time you should seriously consider using this option is when you are still coming up with a more suitable plan for your system.
As R22 is reaching the end of the phase-out, you need to know what your replacement options are. Drop in replacements should not be used unless you are only going to use it for a short amount of time. If you have the budget, it is generally recommended that you look at a total system replacement. A partial system replacement will work if you do not have the time or budget for a full replacement.