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Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) R-22 Refrigerant

In the United States, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are regulated as class I or class II controlled substances. Class I substances have a higher ozone depletion potential and have been completely phased out in the U.S.; with a few exceptions, this means no one can produce or import class I substances. Class II substances are all hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are transitional substitutes for many class I substances. New production and import of most HCFCs will be phased out by 2020. The most common HCFC in use today is HCFC-22 or R-22, a refrigerant still used in existing air conditioners and refrigeration equipment.

 

This means that you either replace the system with a new R-410a bearing system or you can use a substitute.  In order to properly use a substitute, the instructions say you should remove all existing R-22 refrigerant and introduce the new substitute.  Some of these substitutes also lose some of their cooling abilities (up to 30%), as well as there are no substitutes that are approved by the compressor manufacturers that we are aware of.  So we do not "top off" systems with a substitute refrigerant, as it is not approved by the EPA, or manufacturers.  We are aware some companies are doing this but it can damage and contaminate your system.  We however pride ourselves on "doing it right" so we are not using any substitutes at this time.

Maintenance Tips

HVAC maintenance is a year-round job – every month, there are tasks to complete. Preventative maintenance performed by an HVAC professional is usually taken care of before June, so during this month, tackle the tasks that are easy for any homeowner to accomplish!

 

Our thorough June HVAC maintenance tips will help you care for your cooling system this month. Work through the list below to keep your air conditioner or heat pump performing optimally so it will keep your home cool without high costs. You’ll also boost indoor air quality and protect your system from surprise breakdowns which could put a damper on your summer plans.

 

July HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

  • Check your air filter. During periods of heavy cooling system use, the filter should be inspected monthly to make sure it has not become full of contaminants. You may find it necessary to replace it sooner than the 3-month mark during these times, so have a replacement ready just in case.
  • Inspect all registers and return air grilles in your home to ensure they have not been blocked or shut. These vents should never be blocked, as doing so will restrict airflow through your HVAC systems, which could create performance issues and system overheating.
  • Move all carpets and rugs, furniture, and other items away from vents. Check to see that vent louvers are open; if you wish to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. If you have many unused areas, consider investing in a zoning system which will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating proper HVAC system performance – work with a trusted HVAC contractor to design and install zoning solutions for your home or business.
  • Inspect your exterior cooling equipment. Gently brush away any grass clippings and debris which have gathered on the unit. Trim away vegetation that has grown around the unit. Never store outdoor furniture or other items in the area immediately surrounding the unit.
  • Inspect your cooling system’s drip pan and condensate drain lines for clogs. If these components become clogged with mold or algae growth, condensation from the cooling process cannot exit your home or building properly. This can cause the cooling system to malfunction, or water to back up indoors, causing water damage.

 

If water has backed up, clear clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines. Turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clear water from the drip pan, or use rags to soak it up. Clean the drip pan using a mild soap. Clear clogs from the condensate drain lines using your wet/dry vacuum.  If you prefer not to this yourself, or feel uncomfortable doing so we would be happy to do it for you, just give us a call at (704) 799-2555 and we will send out a qualified technician.