If you’ve been thinking about replacing your old air conditioner, now might be a good time. The Environmental Protection Agency is continuing to phase out the old industry-standard R-22 refrigerant, and this has caused costs for air conditioning recharge service to skyrocket. This year is expected to be the first time since the phase-out began several years ago that demand will be greater than supply, which will push the cost of R-22 exponentially higher. Since the phase-out will only reduce supply more in the future, costs will continue to rise.

Purchasing a new A/C or heat pump will switch you from the old R-22 standard to the new, less environmentally troublesome R-410A formula and save you on future recharge service at the same time. In addition to maintenance savings, the new A/C or heat pump will likely be far more efficient than your current one. New units are often 30 percent more efficient than those manufactured just 10 years ago. So, by purchasing a new A/C or heat pump, you’ll be saving on your electric bill throughout the summer months.

If refrigerant and energy savings aren’t enough to make you commit to a new cooling system right now, consider this: the federal government is offering the 25C tax credit to anyone who purchases a new, energy-efficient, central air conditioner or heat pump for their home before Dec. 31, 2013. The tax credit may be taken for up to 10 percent of the cost to install a qualifying system, with a cap of $300. To meet the requirements the new unit must meet or exceed 16 SEER and 13 EER on a split unit, or 14 SEER and 12 EER for a package unit.

These are three great reasons to consider an A/C upgrade. You won’t have to worry about the cost of refrigerant supplies, you can take advantage of the 25C tax credit, and a new system will have a much better SEER efficiency rating than your old one. For more information about how the R-22 refrigerant phase-out affects you, please contact us at Comfort Systems. We have proudly served homeowners in the Wichita area since 1953 and look forward to adding you to our client list.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about R-22 and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.