Recharge the R-22: Until January 1, 2020, the EPA will still allow technicians to use R-22 for HVAC repairs. Even after January 1st, technicians will be able to add reclaimed R-22 (R-22 that has been recycled and reprocessed) to your unit; however, with supplies quickly disappearing technicians will have difficulty stocking R-22, and prices have skyrocketed. For comparison, AFC Home Club covers up to $25 per pound for refrigerant, while some technicians are reporting market prices of $100 per pound for R-22. At this price, it might make more sense to retrofit your system.
Retrofit your system: By emptying the system of R-22—a process called reclaiming—and changing out certain parts and fluids, most systems can be modified to use an EPA-approved alternative refrigerant. Technicians call this retrofitting, and it allows homeowners to keep their current system and ensure that leak repairs will be quicker and less expensive in the future. Many of the alternatives can increase the energy-efficiency of your system, and all of them are better for the environment. Who doesn’t want cleaner air and a cheaper utility bill?
The amount of labor (and cost!) involved in a retrofit depends on the individual HVAC system, and some systems cannot be retrofitted. If that’s the case for you, replacement might be more cost-effective.
Replace the system: If you have an older system or have had issues with it in the past, consider replacing the system with a new one that uses an alternative refrigerant. While you will pay more upfront, your new system will be more energy-efficient, saving you money in the long-run. Plus, you’re helping the environment.How can AFC help? Here at AFC, we want to do what we can to make this transition as easy as possible on homeowners. Besides the fact that we’ll still cover non-refrigerant related issues on your R-22 system, our plans have a few features to set your mind at ease: AFC will cover up to $25 per pound for the cost of the leaked refrigerant regardless of whether it’s R-22 or R-410a, so whether you decide to recharge or retrofit, we’ll assist with the cost. If your system needs to be replaced, AFC will give you the value of your current system and offer a discounted price and financing options on a brand-new system that uses an approved refrigerant like R-410a. That way, you can make the change without breaking the bank. Remember, you don’t need to replace your system simply because it uses R-22. If the system has an issue that doesn’t require adding refrigerant, technicians will still be able to perform repairs like they always have, and AFC Home Club’s coverage on those repairs will not change. Still have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page regarding R-22.