Benjamin Franklin never got to enjoy air conditioning – Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioning system in 1902. But, Franklin could have been talking about today’s HVAC systems and R22, when he said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Fortunately, the EPA has given facility managers time to plan: The rule outlawing the production and import of R22 (also known as Freon) doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2020.
Planning today can save money and headaches down the road. As you formulate your R22 action plan, keep these three factors in mind:
- The scope of your HVAC system
How many compressors are in your facilities? How old are they, and how well have they been maintained? The useful lifespan of HVAC equipment averages around 15 years, but that varies. Do you have a good feel for the condition of the equipment?
- The cost involved with repair or replacement
While most manufacturers are not recommending conversions, no one wants to buy a new HVAC system until it’s necessary. As you review the costs involved, remember that new systems may be more energy efficient. Also, with the production of R22 down and further production cuts slotted for 2019, the cost of the refrigerant continues to rise – pushing repair and maintenance costs up.
- The other costs involved
What’s the worst-case R22 scenario for your business? Let’s say the AC goes out on a hot summer day, and it’s clearly not cost-effective to repair the unit. Can you afford to open the windows and hope for a breeze while you wait for a replacement?
The best time to make a change
Lee Company uses predictive maintenance to help our facility customers take an educated look ahead, and determine the probable, useful lifespan of their HVAC systems. In Franklin, Tenn., (yep, our HQ town is named for Ben) and throughout our service area, we’re helping customers develop a strategic R22 action plan. Find out what we can do for you!