R 22 Freon Phase Out
R 22 Freon Phase Out Dilemma For Apartment Building Owners
The phase out of the R22 refrigerant by the year 2020 will cause a huge dilemma for many apartment building owners in Los Angeles and throughout the USA. If your apartment building has central air and heat and the equipment is more that 6 or 7 years old, most likely you HVAC system is still using R 22 Freon, which will be completely phased out by 2020. This is only a few short years away.
Changing out the equipment can be very costly, depending on certain conditions. Converting your current equipment to another more friendly type Freon such as R 407 can be done, but consider this, it can actually cause more problems than its worth. And efficiency would go down. I would only consider converting current R 22 HVAC equipment to R 407 if your condenser and evaporator sections were relatively newer, such as 2010 type equipment.
Otherwise it can be costly to do a conversion and may create other problems. It would be beyond the scope of this article to go into the intricacies of Freon replacement types, but it can be an good option for some buildings.
Sure, you can also keep your old R 22 systems alive by replacing parts but keep in mind recharging these R 22 systems will be very expensive, as only recycled Freon will be allowed to be used to refill and replenish the Freon to keep these machines going. Freon was selling for $2-3 a pound 10 years ago, in a few years it could easily reach $50-80 a pound. R 22 parts as well will be exorbitant and prohibitive. I don’t consider this a long term solution.
So now would be a good time to get your HVAC retrofit plan together. Don’t expect a straight forward implementation either, complications may arise with the new R 410A components as the parts may be larger and copper Freon lines may need to be changed. Every new installation situation will be different therefore carefully study what will need to be done. Get multiple bids and Ideas on the project. Take the time to carefully consider the different options.
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