|Whole House Mechanical, LLC
Summer 2012 Newsletter
Summertime means lots of sunshine and hot weather. It is also the time
for air conditioning. Just think about all the places we go where we enjoy
the conveniences of air conditioning. From our homes, shopping centers,
restaurants, and office buildings to cars, trains, planes, and buses, almost
everywhere we go and in almost every mode of transportation, we are able to keep cool in the summer
Unfortunately, what is convenient for us is not always beneficial to the planet, in which we live. In
the 1980s, a group of scientists started taking a closer look at the earth’s atmosphere and ozone layers.
They discovered that the production and usage of certain refrigerants when released into the
atmosphere was causing ozone depletion and global warming. These refrigerants were found in
common everyday products such as air conditioning and refrigeration systems, aerosol sprays, and even
fire extinguishers. Feeling this ozone layer was critical to our well being as it protects us from the sun’s
harmful UV rays, the United States joined forces with over 190 countries in initiating the Montreal
Protocol to reduce and/or eliminate the use of certain refrigerants.
One such refrigerant was R-22 also known as Freon. For decades, residential air conditioning
systems have used R-22. Although it is great for providing cooling inside the home, it was found to
cause global warming outside the home. And so R-22 joined the many refrigerants put on the “Eliminate
List” of the Montreal Protocol. To comply with the United States Government regulations, the
production of R-22 has decreased significantly over the past 25 years –a total of seventy-five percent
reduction since 2003. In 2010, the manufacturing of R-22 filled air conditioning equipment was
stopped completely. By 2015, R-22 production will be reduced to ninety percent and production will
stop completely in 2020.
When R-22 was put on the “Eliminate List”, the air conditioning industry
began work to find a replacement. By the late 1990’s they had done just
that, with the refrigerant, R-410a. New equipment was manufactured using
R-410a in both residential and commercial air conditioning systems. Both
R-410a and R-22 systems were manufactured giving customers the option
of either system until the production of R-22 equipment ended in 2010.
The whole transition from R-22 to R-410a would be much easier if the
refrigerants were interchangeable but they are not. R-22 is a combination
of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, and carbon (HCFC-22) while R-410a is a
combination of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon (HFC-410a). It was the chlorine in R-22 which was
found to cause ozone depletion when released into the atmosphere. R-410a does not contain chlorine
making it an environmentally friendly refrigerant.
What does the elimination of R-22 mean to you as a homeowner who really likes your air
conditioning? Unfortunately, the decrease of production and availability of R-22 means increased costs
to you. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.) If your air conditioning unit has R-22 refrigerant, the cost
of adding refrigerant will increase steadily as availability decreases. In the last year alone the cost of R-
22 has doubled. If your R-22 air conditioning system is cooling your house to your liking, you do not
need to replace it. If the system happens to break down, repair parts for R-22 systems are still
available. However, as 2020 draws closer you may have to weigh the overall cost of repair verses a new
When the time comes to replace your air conditioning system, here are a
few things you should know. An air conditioning system consists of both an
outdoor condensing unit and an indoor evaporator coil
connected by a lineset which transports the refrigerant
between the two. Both components must have the same
refrigerant to operate. R-22 and R-410a refrigerants cannot
be mixed because they operate at different pressures and
the equipment is designed specifically for each refrigerant.
So if the outdoor condensing coil needs to be replaced, the
indoor evaporator coil also needs to be replaced.
There are several benefits to having your R-22 air conditioning system replaced with a new R-410a
system. R-410a is not only an environmentally friendly refrigerant, it also absorbs and releases heat
more effectively making the air conditioning system more efficient. With SEERs (Season Energy
Efficiency Rating) ranging from 13 to 21 SEER and the option of two-stage cooling, your home will be
comfortable all summer long while saving money on your utility bills. Not only is a new R-410a system
better for the planet, but it is better on your wallet, too!
For more information on a new R-410a air conditioning system or for an estimate on a new
system, call Whole House Mechanical today.
|In the Spotlight
Meet Jim Kieszkowski. If your heating or cooling system has been
serviced by Whole House Mechanical, chances are you have met Jim.
He is not only the lead service technician for Whole House Mechanical
but also the owner. With over 25 years HVAC experience, Jim is very knowledgeable in
furnaces, boilers and air conditioning systems.
Jim started Whole House Mechanical in 1993 working alongside his first employee, his brother Dave. Together they
installed heating and air conditioning systems. Over the years the company has expanded and grown but still remains a
family owned and operated business. Whole House Mechanical now has two installation crews allowing Jim to do what he
likes best – service and repair.
When he is not fixing a condensing unit or furnace, you can find Jim in his garage restoring his 1967 Olds Cutlass
convertible or playing with his six grandchildren.
|Whole House Mechanical, LLC
1025 Hwy 212
Michigan City, IN 46360