Preparing for the New Refrigerant

Posted by Jim Gunshinan on November 09, 2016
Preparing for the New Refrigerant
AC systems will be retrofitted with a new, climate friendly refrigerant.

From Gilmore Heating, Air Solar:

PLACERVILLE, Calif. October 19, 2016 –Homeowners and businesses using air conditioning units manufactured before 2010 will face increasingly higher costs to maintain their cooling systems due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on the use of the refrigerant known as R-22. Gilmore Heating, Air, Solaris issuing an alert to inform Sacramento-area residents of the potential impacts this ban will have on their current systems and to offer ways to save before the final ban takes effect in just four years.

“Older refrigerants, like R-22, can harm the ozone layer of our planet,” said Darrin Gilmore, general manager of Gilmore Heating, Air, Solar. “So, the EPA ban on these refrigerants is a good thing for the environment. What is happening, however, is that supplies of R-22 refrigerant are quickly being depleted, and as demand increases, prices will continue to rise, leaving owners of older AC units holding the bag.”

According to the EPA, R-22 is currently being phased-out and will no longer be produced after 2020. After that date, the only way to obtain it will be through recycling or reclaiming existing left-over supplies. For homeowners with older air conditioning systems, there will be few choices when it comes to maintaining their existing AC units. Gilmore operating in the Sacramento area is urging owners of AC systems that were produced prior to 2010 to follow these recommendations gathered from the EPA to help save money in the long run:

1-Have your AC unit inspected by a licensed service technician

Before making any decisions, hire a licensed technician to determine whether your unit uses R-22 or was manufactured to use one of the R-22 replacement refrigerants. Knowing the type of refrigerant system your current air conditioning system uses is important before making decisions regarding replacement options.

2-Discuss your options with a licensed AC service technician

While some AC units can be retrofitted at a manageable cost, other units may not function at top efficiency once they have been altered. Only a qualified air conditioning refrigerant expert should inspect or service your AC unit.

3-Discuss the future of your AC system with a professional, before it becomes a last-minute issue.

While the complete ban does not take effect for a few years, prices of R-22 have risen over 300 percent in the last few years. Taking the time to switch to a more energy-efficient system before your AC needs to be retrofitted or replaced due to lack of refrigerant can help save money in the long run.

About Gilmore Heating, Air, Solar
Gilmore Heating, Air, Solar has been serving the Sacramento area since 1979, when John Gilmore took his years of experience in designing heating and air conditioning systems and opened his own company. It was, and continues to be, a family business. The business has grown to more than 90 employees, all dedicated to the “Get More with Gilmore” motto that promises outstanding customer service with a commitment to environmental protection and community service. To find out more, visit or call (800) 200-9696.


Questions: Can existing systems be retrofitted to use the new refrigerant? If not, what are the minimum number of pieces of equipment need to be changed out?

Answer from Darrin Gilmore, general manager of Gilmore Heating, Air, Solar:
“Existing systems cannot be retrofitted to use the new refrigerant. The reason for this is because the newer R-410a refrigerant runs at a much higher pressure than the R-22 and as a result the condensing unit and the evaporator coil must be changed. In addition, it is wise to change the copper line set that run in between the two pieces of equipment as the oils in the refrigerant are not compatible. There are some refrigerant companies that claim to have a compatible R-22 replacement, however, the refrigerant is very pricy. It’s about 200 percent more expensive than R-410a, and has not yet been proven to work. It also requires a complete evacuation of existing R-22 before using, which is very difficult to do.”

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