A Simple Fix For Replacing Your HVAC Refrigerant


The refrigerant in your AC system is the heart of your cooling unit as it actually cools the air in your home. What many people do not realize is that it could soon cost more to repair your AC unit than to replace it. This is due to the fact that you have to replace the refrigerant in your unit.

When Do You Need To Replace The Refrigerant?

Before looking at the simple fix for replacing your refrigerant, you need to consider how often you will need to replace the refrigerant. The truth is that you should not actually have to replace the refrigerant in your cooling unit for the full lifespan. This is due to the fact that AC units will come with refrigerant and will generally have enough for their entire life.

The only times when you will actually have to replace the refrigerant is when there is a problem with the unit.  This could be a refrigerant leak or other issues with the unit that cause issues with the refrigerant. You may also have to replace the refrigerant when you reach the end of the normal lifespan of the unit. This will often be around 10 years, but it will depend on the unit that you have purchased.

Replacing The Entire System

The simple fix for replacing your AC refrigerant will be to replace the whole system. This might not seem like a simple fix, but it will actually be the best solution for most people. While your AC unit might not be at the end of its scheduled life, paying for a replacement will be cheaper than repairing it.

There are a number of benefits that come from replacing the entire system other than it being simpler than repairing. The first benefit is that you will get a more energy efficient unit. This will lower the costs of your energy bills and be better for the environment.

You will also be provided with a new warranty that will cover all of the repairs that come in the future. This is something that could have expired on your current unit which will make any repairs additionally expensive. While the cost of the unit is something that a lot of people worry about, there is a benefit that helps with this.

This is the fact that you can purchase newer AC units on finance. Many companies will offer low-interest rates for the financing of the unit while some will provide a 0% interest rate. Of course, this is not the best solution for everyone and you might not qualify for the financing offers.

Why You Need To Replace The Entire System

There are a number of reasons why replacing the entire cooling system in your home will be the simplest fix available. This has to do with the phase-out of the refrigerant R-22.  R-22 was the most commonly used refrigerant in residential cooling units for many years, but it was found to be extremely harmful to the environment.

In fact, the category of refrigerants that this falls into has been found to cause ozone depletion.  All CFCs and HCFC, like R-22, will be completely phased-out by 2030 which actually leads to a problem for homeowners. The production of R-22 has ended and no new refrigerant is being produced. This is leading to a shortage of the refrigerant as the only supplies will be those that have been stockpiled.

This will increase the price of any replacement of refrigerant if your system still runs on this. If you have an AC unit that was installed before 2010, it most likely still runs on R-22. It is believed that by 2020, the supply of R-22 will be completely reduced to a point where residential AC units will not be able to get the refrigerant for recharge.

The price of the refrigerant has already been increasing which is something that a number of homeowners have already noted. This is only going to get worse as time goes on. A refrigerant leak will cost around $200 to repair, but in the future, it is possible that this will cost anywhere up to $1,500. This is why it is simpler to replace the AC unit instead of waiting.

Are There Other Options?

You might be wondering if there are any other options. Most people will assume that the simplest fix would be to simply use a different refrigerant in their unit. This is not actually possible, even with the most common replacement for R-22 which is from Bluon Energy.

The reason why this is not possible is the chemical makeup of the refrigerants. R-410a has a different chemical composition which means that it reacts differently to R-22. When you use the newer refrigerant in an older system, you will actually cause more damage to the system and have to replace it anyway. The heat pumps in these systems will not have the capacity to handle the new refrigerants and will become damaged which will lead to further damage in the unit.

There are also no legal ways to change your current system to work with a different refrigerant.  There are some options available on the market, but any warranty you might have will be void if you use them. This is due to the fact that they are not approved by the manufacturers and will eventually cause damage to the unit. If you do choose these options, it should only be used as a temporary measure before you replace the unit with a new one.

What You Will Replace

When it comes to replacing your AC unit, you are not replacing everything. A lot of people assume that you would have to replace all aspects of the system and this is not the case. The ventilation system will remain as it is not affected by the change in refrigerant.

What you will be replacing is the actual air conditioning unit and the condenser which is outside of your home. The amount of work this will take depends on the type of system that you have.  Some systems will be easier to replace than others and you need to consider this.

Comments are closed.