Do The Right Thing ... An Editorial.


Don't let a slightly lower price cost you thousands of dollars in the next 15 years.  Irresponsible manufacturers are continuing to produce air conditioners that use R-22 refrigerant that has been discontinued and is no longer manufactured. 


In 2009 a rule to enforce the Montreal Protocol was issued by the EPA.  This treaty requires the United States to cut its consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22, or R-22, a refrigerant widely used in air conditioners for decades, by 90 percent from baseline levels by 2015 and eliminate its use entirely by 2030. That means all air conditioners will eventually need to stop using the refrigerant, also known as R-22, in favor of another gas called R-410A.

But after the rules (pdf) came out in late 2009, a few companies realized they could make the old models "dry" -- meaning the refrigerant is not included -- and market them as a lower-cost option for homeowners and businesses with broken air conditioning systems.

Despite the EPA rules, air conditioning units that need R-22 now make up 10 to 20 percent of all sales, according to industry estimates. Just about everyone is making the R-22 air conditioners again and selling them dry under the pressure of market forces.

What does that mean for you?  R-22 refrigerant is no longer manufactured.  The supplies that remain are recycled from recovered refrigerant in existing machines.  The cost of R-22 has quadrupled since 2008 and gives every indication of continuing this inflation as supply is dwarfed by demand.

Surgi's does not market "dry" machines that are manufactured for use with R-22.  We feel that in the next few years it will be cost prohibitive to repair and recharge these systems.  If your air conditioning company suggests that a decision to install an R-22 condenser will save you money, we suggest you find a new company.

What can be done?  The new refrigerant, R-410a, has been available since the mid-90's and these condensers and evaporator coils can be installed in your home for very little more.  If your system is less than 15 years old, the existing coil can be converted to use R-410a until the coil requires replacement.

Recently, several manufacturers, including Trane and Carrier have requested that the EPA modify their rules to close the loophole that allows manufacturers to produce air conditioners that represent old technology, harm the environment, and will penalize buyers in the future.

Call Surgi's at 469-4232 and find out how "Doing The Right Thing" will save you money.