An HCFC known as R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for residential heat pump and air-conditioning systems for more than four decades. Unfortunately for the environment, releases of R-22 that result from systems leaks contribute to ozone depletion. As the manufacture of R-22 is phased out over the coming years as part of the agreement tend production of HCFCs, manufacturers of residential air conditioning systems are beginning to offer equipment that uses ozone-friendly refrigerants.
January 1, 2010:
After 2010, chemical manufacturers may still produce R-22 to service existing equipment, but not for use in new equipment.
January 1, 2020:
Use of existing refrigerant, including refrigerant that has recovered and recycled, will be allowed beyond 2020 to service existing systems, but chemical manufacturers will no longer be able to produce R-22 to service existing air conditioners and heat pumps.
While consumers should be aware that prices of R-22 may increase as supplies dwindle over the next 20 or 30 years, EPA believes that consumers are not likely to be subjected to major price increases within a short time period. Although there is no guarantee that service costs of R-22 will not increase, the lengthy phase out period for R-22 means that market conditions should not be greatly affected by the volatility and resulting refrigerant price hikes that have characterized the phase out of R-12, the refrigerant used in automotive air-conditioning systems.
Alternatives to R-22 in Residential Air Conditioning As R-22 is gradually phased out, non-ozone-depleting alternative refrigerants are being introduced. One of these substitutes is 410A, a blend of hydro fluorocarbons (HFCS), substances that do not contribute to depletion of the ozone layer, but, like R-22, contribute to global warming. R-4104A is manufactured and sold under various trade names, including GENETRON AX-20 SUVA 410A, and Puron.
Existing units using R-22 can continue to be serviced with R-22. There is no EPA requirement to change or convert R-22 units for use with a non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerant.
Traditional furnaces are designed to heat your home and keep you warm during the coldest weather in your climate; therefore, they operate at one level “high”. However, even during winter, temperatures fluctuate and many winter days can be somewhat mild.
Unlike traditional furnaces that turn on and run at full capacity with each demand for heating, TWO-STAGE FURNACES operate like two separate furnaces to maintain more consistent comfort in your home. The unit starts out running in first stage, and operates at about 68% of its heating capacity. But when the temperature outside drops, the furnaces adjusts to full capacity (second stage) to meet the demand for heat within the home. It’s kind of like having two furnaces for the price of one. With TWO-STAGE heating, you won’t have to keep adjusting the thermostat.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How much time do you and your family spend inside your home?
- Did you take time and care to pick furniture, appliances, and other items that met your lifestyle and made you feel comfortable?
- Then why wouldn’t you do the same thing with your heating equipment?
If you want and expect high-level performance from your heating equipment, then a TWO-STAGE furnace is the right choice for you!
When you hear the term “Variable Speed”, it refers to the type of furnace blower motor. The blower is the component that determines the airflow (or amount of air) that your blower will deliver to your home.
When your furnace is installed, the ideal speed ad airflow for your home is set (depending upon your specific situation such as the size of your home, etc…). However, there are situations that can occur within the household to restrict the airflow such as ductwork design, unit location, zoning or dirty filters, to name a few. A Variable Speed motor allows the blower to automatically adjust to always achieve the required amount of air in your home despite the circumstances. Other motors cannot adjust to overcome the situation and the airflow in our home would not be at its required level. Variable-Speed motors have intelligent technology to monitor incoming data from the blower and adjust accordingly so you can feel confident that your system is working to control your environment.
Efficiency – Variable-Speed motors can actually save you money on your energy bill as they consume less electricity than standard motors. Also having a Variable-Speed furnace as part of your home’s comfort system means you will gain air conditioning efficiency or SEER. The higher the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) the more energy efficient the unit.
This means even more energy savings for your household.