The US Government has enacted a new policy requiring all air conditioners and heat pumps no longer use the ozone-depleting R22 refrigerant, which has been the HVAC industry standard in the manufacture of central air conditioning systems. Although this is great news for the environment, what does it mean for the average homeowner?

1.) While recharging an A/C or heat pump is not typical, if your system develops a leak or needs service, replacement refrigerant may be necessary. If your existing A/C system has R22, it can be serviced/recharged up to 1/1/2020. But after 1/12020, refrigerant manufacturers must cease all production of R22 refrigerant.

2.) There is no EPA requirement on the servicing or usage of existing R22 A/C units and the equipment may be used indefinitely. Substitutes for R22 may be available to service and recharge R22 however, any substitute should only be applied by NATE-certified technician.

3.) If you purchasea new air conditioning unit or heat pump system after 1/1/2010, it may or may not utilize R22 refrigerant. It will most likely use the more environment friendly R410A. Most manufacturers are already manufacturing A/C units and heat pumps with R410A and they are widely available today. If you are looking to purchase a new A/C unit, you should give consideration to the new R410A systems.

What should you do?

Have your A/C unit serviced on a regular basis. For newer homes, its recommended to have your A/C unit serviced annually. For older homes, you may need to have them serviced bi-annually. Changing your filters monthly will also significantly improve the performance of your A/C unit. Home warranties are also a great idea to keep on your home in the event a major system breaks down. Service One Home Warranty is one of the few warranty companies offering a comprehensive replacement package for A/C units, meeting the new Government required improvements. Learn more about the Service One Home Warranty at http://www.s1hw.com/.