Most people depend on their air conditioner. It is the only way to stay cool when you are inside of your home or office and the temperatures are soaring into the 90s and beyond as it often does in Fort Meyers and other areas of South Florida. The thing is, most older air conditioning units are not able to keep up with the heat as well as most people want for them to. Also, many people are now having to deal with the R22 Freon phase out that is taking place and it is causing a lot of people to suffer in misery.
R-22 is a type of propellant or refrigerant that is a colorless gas. It is a hydro chlorofluorocarbon that, until recently, was the primary gas used in air conditioners both inside a vehicle and homes. It is a gas that causes very little damage to the ozone, and was at one time considered very safe to use. However, when you consider how many people are now using air conditioners, it is still causing a problem according to some research.
Freon is a gas that is added to the compressor of an air conditioning unit. It is then added to a closed loop system that ensures there is a constant recycling process that it goes through. The way it works from there is when you turn on your air conditioner the compressor compresses the Freon. This makes it become hot and then it travels through coils that are inside of your unit. As the Freon liquid flows through, it evaporates and becomes cold. The now cold gas will continue through the air conditioners coils to absorb heat and then push cooler air into the building or vehicle. The good news is, there are other refrigerants available thanks to the R-22 phase out that is now most of the way completed within the United States.
If you are curious about why R22 is being phased out, you should know that the biggest reason is that R-22 is a powerful greenhouse gas that can contribute to global warming on a very massive scale. It is nearly 2,000 more powerful than carbon dioxide. With virtually every home, office, and vehicle using Freon, the impact would be extreme if we continued to use it. Therefore, the government in areas all around the world started the Freon phase out. It has been gradual, but it began in 2001 and currently there are only 10% of appliances and equipment using R22. The U.S. EPA has banned production and importation of the most powerful type of Freon, but there are still some units that are being used and running Freon.
The hope is that by 2020, everyone will have made the switch to a substitute refrigerant that will protect the ozone more than damage it. This makes people question what happens when their old unit runs low on Freon and whether they can still find it for their older unit. If the unit using Freon is one that is in your vehicle, you can purchase gas that will run through it, but it does not contain R22. The home units are different. There are no substitute gases that can be used instead of Freon, unless you decide to purchase a conversion kit.
Although there are conversion kits that can allow you to run gas beyond Freon or R22, you should be forewarned that it comes with a price. Conversion kits are not affordable, especially since they are most often needed on an older unit that may have to be replaced because of other issues anyway. That is why most people choose to simply upgrade their unit. By upgrading, you take advantage of a more efficient, new, unit that does not damage the ozone layer. It is less costly and provides several years of worry free coolness. When you live in Florida, that could be the biggest benefit imaginable and it can pay for itself when you see how much less your monthly electric bill will run. Contact us now if your considering a new unit.