If the air conditioning unit attached to a home was installed prior to the year 2010, there’s a very good chance that it uses the R-22 refrigerant, better known as Freon. Those units installed after 2010 typically include R-410A as opposed to R-22.
Many American homes rely on R-22 to keep their homes cool which might present problems for potential homeowners.
As of 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that the R-22 refrigerant be phased out completely and replaced with R-410A and other alternatives. This means that all new air conditioning units are now to use the alternative refrigerants rather than R-22. It also means that, in the not-too-distant future, many homeowners are going to need to replace their AC units if they currently rely on R-22. HVAC companies will no longer be able to “charge” these AC units with R-22, so if your AC stops working properly and it uses R-22, you will be out of luck once 2020 hits. You will need to either replace your unit or risk voiding the warranty on your unit by turning to an alternative refrigerant that may or may not be safe for it.
Because of the push by the EPA, it’s more important than ever for you to have a home inspection done prior to purchasing a new home. Even if a home has an air conditioning system, it could essentially be worthless if it uses R-22. So you will want to have a home inspector take a closer look at it and find out what kind of refrigerant it uses. If it’s R-22, you will then want to speak with the seller of the home to try and lower the price of it so you will be able to afford to replace the AC unit eventually. Or if they don’t agree to do that, you will want to consider if replacing the AC unit in 2020 will be an option for you. But it’s good to have a plan in place and know what you are getting into when purchasing a home that has an air conditioning unit dependent on R-22.
Babcock Home Inspections keeps a close eye on situations like the one involving the EPA and R-22. We can help you figure out if the home you want to buy has an AC unit that utilizes R-22, and we can also tell you how long you can expect your AC to last once you move into a home. For more information on why having an AC inspection is so important during a home inspection or to schedule a home inspection, call us at 210-325-2106 today.