Heating & Cooling Articles
Refrigerant is an important component of your HVAC system. The refrigerant is responsible for cooling the air in your home. Without it, your air conditioner can’t change the temperature of the air. Refrigerant also may be responsible for heating your air if you have a heat pump. Due to legislation, the type of refrigerant used in HVAC systems is changing. This change can affect a number of things, including the cost of upkeep and performance. Here’s everything you need to know about the changeover so you can keep your Corpus Christi, Texas, home comfortable:
Why the Phase-Out?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began the process of phasing out R22 due to extensive research showing that this type of refrigerant has drastic effects on the ozone layer and the ecosystem in general. R22 leakages are highly caustic and can damage the planet, specifically in causing ozone depletion. In 2010, it became illegal to manufacture new units that use R22. On Jan. 1, 2020, R22 will become completely illegal. It will no longer be manufactured in the United States or imported.
This doesn’t mean it’s illegal to have an R22 unit, though. R22 will still be sold, but due to the phase-out, there will be a rapidly dwindling supply. This means higher prices and the possibility of your HVAC service technician not being able to find any.
What’s the New Refrigerant?
The replacement for R22 is R410A. This new type of refrigerant is what modern HVAC systems are designed to use. If you purchased a system after 2010, chances are it uses R410A.
R410A differs from R22 in a number of ways. R22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, is one of the last ozone-depleting substances still commonly used. R410A is not a hydrochlorofluorocarbon. R410A is much better at absorbing and releasing heat. As a result, it’s much more efficient.
Why Make the Change?
Here are a few of the biggest reasons the changeover is such a good idea:
- Reduced ozone damage: R22 causes ozone depletion when it leaks. As a result, it’s a danger to the continued health of our planet.
- Reduced cost: With the phase-out of R22, it’ll be difficult to find, driving up costs and making repairs extremely costly. If your service technician can’t get hold of R22, they won’t be able to make the necessary repairs, leading to dramatically reduced efficiency.
- Improved efficiency: R410A is able to absorb and release heat better than R22, making it more energy efficient. Plus, because it’s more fluid in temperature changing abilities, it does a better job heating or cooling your house quickly.
- Improved performance: R22 has a harder time letting go of heat, which means it’s more likely to cause a compressor burnout than the more flexible R410A.
Even if R22 wasn’t being phased out, the improvements shown by R410A are enough on their own to warrant the changeover. However, looking at all these factors combined, it’s easy to see why making the jump to a new unit is such a good idea.
Can I Retrofit My Old System?
Unfortunately, older systems can’t handle R410A. This new style of refrigerant requires significantly more pressure to do its job. The compressors on R22 systems simply can’t keep up. If you were to try to put in the new refrigerant, you could cause a catastrophic failure inside your system and completely junk it.
In addition, there aren’t any new parts or compressors that you can add to your old system to make the changeover to R410A. The only way to start using R410A is to purchase a unit designed to use this style of refrigerant. Luckily, you can get some tax credits for making the changeover. Check with whoever prepares your taxes to see if you qualify for the tax credit.
Ready to make the change? Bodine-Scott can help. Give us a call today at 888-481-8511 to set up an appointment with our experienced service technicians.
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A new furnace installation is a big investment. Because of this, many homeowners in Three Rivers, Texas, look for ways to extend the life of their heating systems. Preventative maintenance is key to making it last longer. Keep reading to learn tips and tricks for making your furnace last longer than its standard life cycle.
How Long Should a Furnace Last?
The average furnace has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Systems lasting this long have had regular preventive maintenance performed on them. Most furnace parts won’t last the full life cycle, so repairs and parts replacements are common. In most instances, they’re cheaper than replacing the entire unit. An exception to this is when the heat exchanger goes bad, as this is the most expensive part of a furnace.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-up
Tune-ups and preventive maintenance are crucial to the lifespan of your heating system. Our HVAC specialists will inspect the heating unit for damaged parts and clean the system. We can also inspect and clean your ductwork as needed. Cleaning the system improves heating efficiency and extends the life of the furnace. It also improves air quality in your home by reducing the amount of dust and dirt in the air.
Contact us any time you notice the furnace isn’t operating as you think it should. Letting the system run with worn or damaged parts can significantly impede its ability to run efficiently and reduce its lifespan.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Another simple way to extend the life of your furnace is to install a programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat allows you to create a schedule for the heating system. During the times of the day or night when you’re not home, program the thermostat to a more moderate temperature depending on the season. As a result, you’ll save money on heating expenses and reduce wear and tear on the heating system. Consider a Wi-Fi thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature when you’re away from home via your smartphone.
Change the Furnace Filter
Extending the life of your furnace starts with changing the filter regularly. Instead of waiting a full 90 days before changing the filter, inspect it every 45 days to see if it’s dirty. This is important for making the furnace last longer. In homes with indoor pets, changing the filter once every 30 days is highly recommended. Vacuuming air registers once a week to remove pet hair can also extend the life of the heating system.
Use the Right Furnace Filter
In addition to changing the filter regularly, it’s important to use the right one. If you’re using a filter not designed for your heating system, your furnace may endure unnecessary wear and tear. For example, most systems aren’t compatible with HEPA filters. Our experienced service technicians can perform a simple assessment of your heating system and recommend the right filter for it.
Fix Air Leaks Around Your Home
Another important way to make your heating system lasts longer than its life cycle is to fix air leaks. That’s because air leaks allow warm air to escape from the ductwork. As a result, the furnace works harder to keep your home at the desired temperature. This puts extra wear and tear on the system, which can lead to more frequent breakdowns and higher energy bills.
Bodine-Scott specializes in a variety of heating system installation, repair, and maintenance services. We have years of experience in helping people extend the life of their HVAC units. Call us today at 888-481-8511 to learn more about how we can help you make your furnace last longer.
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