Well, January 1st has come and gone, and it’s now official. R-22 may no longer be manufactured in or imported to the United States. As usual, a few news outlets have capitalized on the news with headlines like:
- Why you should care about what refrigerant is in your AC
- Why your air conditioner could soon cost more to fix
- Coolant ban means homeowners with older a/c units could be left out in the cold
As far as we can tell, though, the world hasn’t ended. Things seem OK. No R-22 looting has occurred. Of course, it’s still winter.
All kidding aside, the reaction to the R-22 phaseout deadline has seemed to be met with calm. However, you may get questions from concerned customers.
Making A/C Decisions After R-22 Phaseout Deadline
We’ve put together a few things to share with your customers who still have R-22-dependent systems. If they have questions or concerns about the R-22 ban and how it affects them, let them know their options.
Options for Customers with Older A/C Equipment (R-22 Dependent)
Continue using an existing A/C until the end of its lifecycle. While R-22 can no longer be produced or imported, there are still stockpiles of the refrigerant available. Recommend that customers have equipment inspected and maintain it so that you can extend the life as long as possible while you save for a new system.
Retrofit an existing system to use a new refrigerant. Some systems can be retrofitted to use newer refrigerants. Of course, this isn’t the case for all equipment. Plus, systems that aren’t in the best condition may not be worth the cost of retrofitting. Urge customers to consult with one of your experts to understand the pros and cons of a retrofit before making a decision.
Replace with a newer unit. Some customers may want to be proactive and replace their systems now. However, that can be a big cost. Help guide them on the best replacement options to meet their needs and their budget.
As you have conversations with your customers about their options, remind them to keep these things in mind:
- The potential energy bill savings with a new A/C
- The risks of higher costs for R-22 over the coming months and years
- The potential for spending time in sweltering heat waiting for a retrofit or replacement if the customer chooses to hold on to the existing equipment
- The need to start saving now for repairs, a retrofit, or replacement
What Have You Heard in Response to the R-22 Phaseout?
We will continue to monitor reactions to the R-22 phaseout. What have you heard from your customers? Do you have some advice to share that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to have your professional input.