You may have heard about the 2020 phase out of R22-type HVAC systems. If your Columbia, MD, home has an HVAC system that uses R22, you may be eligible for some major tax breaks if you choose to switch out your system ahead of time. We’ve broken down what you need to know about the R22 phase out so that you can take advantage of the available tax breaks.
What Is R22?
R22 is a type of refrigerant called Freon. It was the main style of refrigerant used for years and years: if your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, chances are it uses R22. It was discovered in the 90s that Freon is actually incredibly dangerous for the environment. When Freon leaks from the system, it depletes the ozone layer at an alarming rate. Because of this, the EPA essentially shut down production of Freon and mandated a phase-out of R22 production by 2020. In 2010, HVAC system manufacturers were banned from creating units that used this damaging substance.
With the 2020 deadline just around the corner, many owners of R22-using systems are looking to replace their system. As production of R22 grinds to a halt, the cost of maintaining an R22 system will skyrocket and many repairs will be impossible. Unfortunately, due to the difference between R22 and the new replacement refrigerant, R22 systems are not compatible with the switch over so there are very few alternatives outside of replacement available to owners.
What Is The Alternative HVAC System?
Replacing R22 is a new refrigerant called R410a. This new refrigerant is much more eco-friendly and has significantly different chemical properties than its predecessor. It’s because of these differences that older systems can’t be switched over to the new refrigerant: it has to be run at a significantly higher pressure level that the R22-compatible HVAC systems can’t handle.
Besides the ability to sustain a higher pressure, there isn’t a huge difference between the older and the newer systems. The price point is about the same, as is the functionality. The main difference is just what substance it uses to keep your home comfortable.
Is Replacement Worth It?
Replacing an R22 HVAC system has a lot of benefits. Most R22 systems are now ten years old or older, which means that they have increased maintenance costs coupled with expired warranties. This combination, especially when you factor in the now-exorbitant cost of R22, means that homeowners with these HVAC systems can face staggering costs to keep their system going. Besides that, here are some more reasons why replacing your R22 HVAC system is worth it:
- More Eco-Friendly: R410a is proven to have little to no negative effect on the environment. Refrigerant leaks are one of the most common HVAC issues and homeowners can rest assured knowing that they aren’t seriously damaging nature if a leak happens to occur.
- Lower Cost: Because R410a is the chosen replacement for R22, you can expect the cost to be significantly lower to replace refrigerant in your system. Plus, R410a is actually more efficient, which means lower utility costs!
- Warranty Coverage: By replacing your older climate control system with a new one, you’re gaining warranty coverage again. This can also help mitigate costs long-term and reduce the stress surrounding breakdowns or other costly repairs.
What Tax Breaks Are Available?
With the EPA looking to completely phase out Freon, the government is offering tax breaks for homeowners who replace their R22 systems with the new R410a. Previously, you could claim only a few hundred dollars on your tax return but now, the IRS is allowing homeowners to claim the entire cost of their system as part of an incentive to get people to switch over, which can be up to or even over $5000. That can mean a substantial tax break!
In addition, some municipalities and states are also offering tax initiatives and rebates. Be sure to check and see if any are available to you so that you can take advantage of this great deal.
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