2015 brings yet another reduction in the supply of R22 refrigerant. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with the Montreal Protocol is what sets the standard for reduction and eventual elimination of R22 refrigerant. October 17th, 2014, the EPA issued its final ruling on the phase out of R22. As of January 1, 2015 the total amount of R22 produced will be 57% less than last year. No R22 refrigerant will produced after 2019.
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What does that mean to you as a home owner? If you have an older system that contains R22 refrigerant, it will be more costly for service if it should require any refrigerant to be added.
The contractors cost for R22 is nearly 5 times as expensive as the newer R410a refrigerant. This gap in price will increase even more as time passes.
The department of energy has also raised the bar on minimum efficiency ratings for central air conditioning and heat pump systems. Starting January 1, 2015, the new minimum standard is 14 SEER. In 2006 – 2014 the minimum was 13 SEER.
Good news, new 14 SEER equipment will be about 8% more efficient than 13 SEER.