Freon is the refrigerant used in HVAC systems for cooling. The most common type used for the past four decades is called R-22. Leaking R-22 contributes to ozone depletion and when it is made it contributes to global warming. For this reason, there is an international environment agreement (called the Montreal Protocol) to phase out R-22. By January 2020, the US must reduce its use by 99.5% below the US baseline. Recycled or recovered refrigerant will be allowed to service existing R-22 units but it is advised that ozone safe refrigerant and equipment be installed. The safer refrigerant that is taking the place of R-22 is called R410-A. It is a non-ozone depleting blend of hydroflurocarbons but it does still contribute to global warming. HVAC equipment has had a mandatory revamp for the new R-410A. The good news is when you update to a revamped unit, they are high-efficiency units that will not only protect the environment but save you money as well! High-efficiency units are higher seer units (for more information please see our blog on SEER rating). Other benefits of R-410A are that it is non-flammable, less toxic, less expensive (R-22 cost is steadily rising), operates on high pressure, better at transferring heat, is Non-flammable, and it works with copper, steel and brass.
One of the biggest signs of a Freon leak is decreased cooling of your HVAC system. If you notice that your unit isn’t cooling as well as it usually does, you should have it serviced. If you notice ice buildup on your evaporator coil, this could be caused from insufficient amounts of Freon due to a leak. The most common causes of a Freon leak in central hvac units is condenser unit vibration, physical damage, or corrosion of the steel components. If you think you may have a Freon leak or would like a quote on switching to R-410A compatible equipment, please give us a call at (843) 352-8140.
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