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Author: Rm Harrington

About Rm Harrington Professional HVAC content writer, equally skilled for communicating with A/C technicians, HVAC product engineers or the home/business buyer in need of reliable A/C related details. Most valuable skill: The ability to research, comprehend, evaluate and discuss matters of importance to homeowners and the HVAC community, including technical details, system comparisons and best-choice system applications.

Montreal Protocol – How The Restriction of R22 Refrigerant Affects Your Phoenix AC Service Needs

As an environmentally conscious Phoenix AC installation center, American Cooling and Heating keeps close tabs on programs designed to provide critical ozone layer protection. This makes compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer a significant component of the AC&H Glendale, Gilbert and other Phoenix area air conditioning services.


A Hole in the Ozone


Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can harm the earth and the life thereon. However, the dangers are limited by a high-altitude air-shield created as a natural protective resource for life and the abundance thereof on this tiny planet. Technically identified as the stratospheric ozone layer, this air-shield is susceptible to damage due to manufactured human waste products.    


Identified by some scientists, including Nobel prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen, as a hole in the atmosphere that “marks the worst disaster to hit global environment,” the depletion of the ozone layer is a direct result of man-made chemicals. The initial problem became evident during the mid-1970s. Something was changing, and as scientists began to study the events they noticed that the thickness of the Earth’s ozone layer was decreasing. Additional studies followed. Soon after, plans for correcting the problem began to take shape.


A Multi-Nation Solution to AC Refrigerant and Other ODS Complications


In September of 1985, major changes concerning global efforts to control depletion of the earth’s ozone layer began to take place. Naming a September 16 meeting of the United Nations as the International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, a host of nations came together for the purpose of establishing precise goals for the healing of the hole in the sky.


In September of 1987, the international community came together and signed into effect a joint ozone protection agreement defined as the Montreal Protocol. This established the foundation for precise measures established to ensure the protection of the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. As of 2013, 191 countries have participated in meeting the stipulations of the Protocol. By signing the agreement, these nations have committed to the process of phasing out the production and consumption of ozone depleting chemicals.


Hailed among the most successful international treaties ever crafted, the Montreal Protocol extends beyond the original meeting goals by prompting multiple nations to come together as one cooperative entity capable of resolving major environmental issues. In recognition of the significance of this achievement, countries around the world typically assemble to celebrate the signing of the Montreal Protocol.


U.S. Responses to the Terms of the Montreal Protocol


The current U.S. EPA response to the Montreal Protocol reflects a sustained and renewed commitment toward U.S. implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. The history of associated U.S. regulations begins with the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) – modified ‘98 to provide additional provisions and deadlines concerning protection of the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer.


CAA Amendments define the EPA’s involvement in the development and enforcement of national regulations dedicated to managing ozone-depleting substances (ODS) within U.S. borders. The legal framework of the process is fully defined in Title VI of the CAA instruction codes. As of 2013, the U.S. has met, exceeded and even accelerated the deadline dates as projected under the provisions of the Protocol as well as the CCA instructions.


In summary, the U.S. regulatory program establishes the following goals:


  • Flexible Allowance System – The initial program for the reduction of ODS production and import.
  • Regulated Reclamation and Recycling – A program that ensures emission control of AC refrigerants and other ODS products.
  • Alternative Refrigerant Solutions – The Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) establishes a means for introducing and gaining approval of alternatives to ODS products. Current better than 300 alternative solutions have been approved for consumer and commercial use. The EPA has also approved over 60 industrial alternative products.
  • Forced Management – EPA preventive regulations now ban the release of ozone-depleting refrigerants. During service, maintenance or replacement of AC products, professional air conditioning service centers must collect and properly dispose of all ODS refrigerant fluids. The controls include the management of any form of refrigeration equipment.
  • Product Labeling – New regulations ensure that manufacturers correctly label and product that contains harmful ODS materials.
  • Exemptions – When immediate full-scale alternative ODS products are not yet available the EPA grants temporary product exemptions. The primary list of exempt items includes: CFCs used in medical inhalers, essential fumigant methyl bromide projects and managed ODS inventories awaiting destruction.


The following chart reveals the current and projected status of the U.S. ODS phase-out program:


US ODS Phase Out Schedule


Phoenix AC Installation and the Effects of the Montreal Protocol 


The R22 phase out is already in effect. The year 2020 will bring about cease in the production of R22 refrigerant. In 2010, a ban against the production of new air conditioning equipment requiring R22 refrigerant became law. U.S. homeowners and business owners, including those in Glendale, Scottsdale and other Phoenix areas, will not be forced to upgrade their existing equipment. The refrigerant will remain available for another seven years. However, the cost will continue to rise due to an increase in demand and a decrease in supply.


As a professional Phoenix AC installation and service professional, the team at American Cooling and Heating can help you measure the value of retaining your existing air conditioning systems for yet a few more seasons against the value of investing in a new, environmentally friendly and energy efficient ac unit.


Call to schedule an appointment:

Contact American Cooling and Heating





R-22 Alternatives – Need AC Refrigerant Than Can Keep Up With Phoenix Heat

R-22 ReplacementAs a result of national ozone layer protection programs, R-22 AC refrigerant, a hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) product, is nearing the final legs of merchandise availability. As of January 1 of 2010, stocking and topping-up with virgin R-22 has been banned. Although the use of reclaimed R-22 is still available up to January 1 of 2015, the pricing for the product lends to greater restraints.

After January 1, 2015, your Phoenix air conditioning installation and AC repair service center will no longer be permitted to stock or top-up your air conditioning system with virgin or reclaimed R-22 AC refrigerant. While homeowners are not being forced to install new AC equipment, they will be required to upgrade to a non-ozone depleting refrigerant.

Unless planning a new and near-future Phoenix AC installation project, any necessary cooling service requirements should involve a switchover to an environmentally safe, cost-effective and readily available modern refrigerant replacement product. The Glendale air conditioning repair and installation experts at American Cooling and Heating provide area residents and business owners with several products capable of dealing with the Phoenix area heat index. For example: R-438A by DuPont performs well against the toughest Arizona heat waves, provides reliable mineral oil compatibility and installs hassle free.

Mounting Pressure Driving the Removal of R-22 Refrigerant Products

 In accordance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone, all developed countries have agreed to the caps on consumption and production of HCFC products. Although the Montreal Protocol includes various “Critical and Essential Use Exemptions,” home AC refrigerants do not meet any of the phase-out limitations. The supply is drying up. 

In striving to remain current with federal requirements and customer needs, American Cooling and Heating investigates every avenue of R-22 alternative services. Customers need a product that provides the cooling power of R-22, holds up to the Phoenix heat index, and enables technicians to provide a quick and relatively inexpensive change over. It’s a simple rule: Get the R-22 out and install new AC refrigerant efficiently and with the least hassle.

Additional Alternatives to R-22 Refrigerant in Residential Air Conditioning

Eliminate of ozone-depleting substances involves a multitude of options.  Some of the replacement refrigerant products have proven more energy efficient than R-22 refrigerants. By installing the right combination of coolant and equipment, Phoenix homeowners can increase home cooling efficiency by 30% or more. The associated equipment upgrades, such as inverter air conditioning components, can reduce CO2 emissions, boast energy efficiency and decrease the cost of cooling your home.

Along with R-438A, current EPA reviews of R-22 alternatives include: 

  • R-410A      – A mid-range solution that does not deplete the ozone layer but is still      listed as a hydrofluorocarbon that contributes to global warming
  • R-407C      – Listed as an acceptable R-22 substitute in residential AC products but      is not yet available for use in the U.S.

 Don’t Rush, But Avoid the Rush

If your home is running a reliable leak free R-22 solution, you need not rush for immediate system replacement. However, 2015 is just around the corner. Remember: Last minute solutions often involve high-pressure decisions. Tax benefits are still available.

As a recommended Phoenix air conditioning installation center, you can count on the technicians from American Cooling and Heating for clear-cut advise on how to best work these legally required changes into your current heating and cooling needs. Don’t wait for the rush. Now is the time to contact American Cooling and Heating.


Heat Pump Prices – Who Needs a Premium Heat Pump For Their Phoenix AC Installation Project?

Heat Pump Prices – A Difficult Buyer Decision

Like all products, the scale for setting heat pump prices keep changing. So many options affect the final figures. And setting a dead rate for today may be totally out of line for tomorrow. With the availability of so different classes for heat pump performance, homeowners may have trouble dividing the line between AC quality and AC pricing. Sales hype can easily conceal the savings associated with value-added Phoenix AC installation services. If not careful, the buyer ends up with an incorrectly installed quality heat pump that performs below the standards of an entry-level air conditioning system.  

Homeowners and even Phoenix business owners can get caught up in the press for premium heat pump installation services versus the value of jumping to the top of the central air conditioning product line. Logo AMC for Phoenix AC installationYet choosing a lower product efficiency class is not always a bad idea. Buyers must always consider the long-term purposes associated with a new AC installation project. 

For example: Unless dealing in a very high profile residential area, most house flippers will install lower end heating and cooling systems. This may not always mean “cheap” but it can mean fewer bells and whistles. Likewise, rental units are typically equipped with lower class heat pumps. And so it is also for homeowners. If you are planning for a near-future housing change – perhaps a shift from Mesa to Scottsdale, why pay top dollar for a Mesa AC installation project only to encounter the same need five years later at your new Scottsdale home. 

The following heat pump price tips along with the associated unit quality classes will help you narrow the playing field. Perhaps you need a premium heat pump for your Phoenix AC installation project or maybe a moderate efficiency system will do just as well. 

AC and Heat Pump Price Comparisons 

As article content ages, price comparisons change. For me to list the ratings and prices of any particular air conditioning system, including air source and/or ducted units, would require that I know the exact prices in your precise time period. Thus the unit  comparisons listed below are top down ranging from most efficient to least efficient. The two primary factors of efficiency include system Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). However, not every Phoenix AC installation company charges the labor rates – neither do they provide the same quality of installation expertise, customer support or service reliability.

The following details focus on Trane as a token of every reliable manufacturer of quality AC or heat pump products. But I really cannot state current national labor averages, not can I set exact or average product prices. So we are going to compare heat pump efficiency rather than heat pump sales and heat pump installation prices. If you need an exact and current price on a new system, contact your local ACH service center. 

Ultra Efficiency Trane Heat Pumps 

Ultra efficient Trane systems currently ship in three configurations: 1) XL20i, 2) XL16i and 3) XL15i. These compare to the premium products of other manufacturers such as the Amana, Carrier and Rheem. However, the Carrier Infinity line pushes a higher SEER rating than the upper level Tranes, including a plus four on HSPF ratings. Therefore Carrier Infinity pricing can exceed the Trane Ultra Efficiency pricing by as much as sixty percent. 

Th XL20i rates 19 SEER and 9 or less on HSPF. The average pricing for these units unit with thermostat and furnace, including system installation depends on the tonnage of the system and the layout of your home or business. For example: contractor’s wholesale cost for a 2-ton will typically come in cheaper than the cost of a 5-ton unit. The average average cost for Phoenix AC installation not including any need for new or modified ductwork will include a margin for profit as well as the current cost of labor. However the installation costs of larger units will increase proportionally to the need for additional work. Expect the Trane XL16i, rated at 18 SEER with a 9 or less HSPF to price out more expensive than the Trane XL15i, which rates out at 16 SEER and sports a standard HSPF that can reach as high as 9. But also realize SEER rating often directly influences heat pump prices.    

High Efficiency Heat Pumps Pricing Based On Trane Systems 

Trane XR15 AC UnitTrane high efficiency heat pumps ship in two models: 1) XR15 and 2) XR13. These system fall in line with Carrier’s Performance and Comfort Series. However, the maximum SEER and HSPF of the Performance and Comfort Series are slightly higher than the Trane High Efficiency line. Likewise, the cost of product plus the cost of Phoenix heat pump installation for both Carrier Performance systems and Carrier Comfort systems is a nearer match to pricing of Trane’s Ultra Efficiency systems rather than the Trane High Efficiency system. The Comfort line typically prices out less than the Performance line. 

Back to a focus on Trane High Efficiency units: 

  • Trane XR15 rates at 6.5 SEER. HSPF comes in as high as 9. Unit costs plus installation charges typically exceed the costs of the XR13. Likewise, a 4-ton unit with air handler typically exceeds the price of a 2-ton unit w/out air handler.
  • Trane XR13 carries a maximum 8.5 HSPF and a SEER rating of 14. Being identified as the lower end of the XR series, the Trane XR13 typically prices our below the cost of the XR15. However, the cost of heat pump installation may remain the same no matter which unit you chose. 

Trane Moderate Efficiency Heat Pumps 

Again, there is a distinctive price difference between Trane’s moderate efficiency systems and Carrier’s low-end systems. This is partly due to Carrier’s low-end units supporting a higher SEER rating (16 max) and HSPF rating (9 max). The moderate efficiency Trane system carries a max SEER of 15 and a max HSPF of 8.5. Trane offers twon low-end system configurations:

  • Trane XB14 runs a max of 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF
  • Trane XB13 comes in at 14.5 SEER and 8.5 HSPC. 

Closing Notes on Heat Pump Pricing  

Heat pump and air conditioning prices vary by manufacturer, unit size, functional extras and the cost of quality Phoenix AC installation. Before closing any deal, complete the following three checkpoints: 

  1. Get multiple estimates from local contractors
  2. Make a balanced comparison, including differences in SEER ratings, HSPF ratings, product performance extras and the skill and reputation of your installer
  3. Use your ears and eyes to notice the little things that distinguish an experienced heat pump professional from a sales rep. 

Finally, make sure you buy according to your current needs and your long-term future goals.






Cost of Phoenix Air Conditioning Installation

Is It Time To Hire A Professional Phoenix Air Conditioning Installation Company?

The April 2013 valley weather forecast for Phoenix AZ and the surrounding areas, such as Meza, Scottsdale and Buckeye predicts temperatures rising toward the mid-90s by mid-month. Chances of precipitation are hanging near 0% and the humidity has already reached 14%. It’s going to be another long, long cooling season.

Perhaps your current AC system is chugging along rather well. On the other hand, you may already have the Internet open to a Yellow Page listing of local Gilbert AC installation providers. Right now the big word in your mind is Cost.

Installing new central air conditioning can get expensive. Even on low-priced units, you may have to replace certain supplemental components such as ductwork, internal vents or even the air conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) field services pipe. With each additional component, the cost of materials increases. With each additional component, the price of installation also increases.

Air conditioning service prices vary from state to state and city to city. This article presents an overview of general pricing for the installation of central air conditioning systems. However, the closing statements focus on pricing Phoenix AC installation projects.

Central Air Conditioning Installation Cost: An Overview

Although no two AC installations are exactly alike, many similarities exit. Thus the primary procedures remain constant for all home or small business AC projects. However, the individual processes vary in relationship to pre-existing conditions and building size. For example: Pre-existing forced hot air heating ductwork may eliminate excess installation materials and labor. Whereas installation in a new home will likely require the installation of ducts, ACR pipe and perhaps even some custom landscaping. 

According to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics the median pay for educated, trained and qualified heating, AC and refrigeration mechanics and installers hovered around $20.50 per hour. When dealing with companies that promote quality services above discount pricing, expect that they will also be paying for the top skilled, field technicians. Yet you must always remember that up-front pricing for quality work always come back in lifetime savings.

AC installation is not a DIY project. It requires special equipment and should be installed according to industry standards as developed by the US Energy Conservation department. On a national average, installing a central air conditioning unit will range from $2650 up to $15000 plus.

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Your Gilbert area AC contractor should adhere to the following cooling unit installation standards: 

  • Install a doorway for access to the evaporator coil for cleaning and maintenance
  • Ensure adequate space for the indoor components of installation, maintenance and system repair
  • Use efficient duct-sizing methodology
  • Whenever possible, avoid installing ductwork in the attic
  • Use proper duct sealing methods, including heaver insulation for attic ducts
  • Right-counts the register and return air requirements
  • Ensures that airflow to condensing units are not hindered by nearby objects
  • Positions the external unit for best performance, best noise control and best safety practices
  • Uses an exact refrigerant charge.

Breaking Out the Specifics of Costs

The pricing for a new central air condition installation includes 4 primary points of payment: 

  1. Contractor – Oversees the entire project
  2. Subcontractor – Provides any necessary sub-licensed services
  3. Labor – Cleanup detail and technician assistance
  4. Materials – Ranging from the primary unit to the necessary recovering machine.

Phoenix Area Pricing For Central Air Conditioning Installation

Pricing the exact cost for installing AC in any given home must be based upon critical details as listed above. However, Phoenix prices typically run a bit below the national average. For example: A 16-SEER, 4-ton indoor and outdoor Meza AC installation would touch on $9000. But when pricing for your home or business, you can’t go by unit size and SEER ratings alone.

You don’t want a unit that is too small or a unit that is too large. Make certain that your Phoenix AC Installation Professional is licensed, insured, bonded and up-to-date on current AC sizing practices. Doing things right can help you save as much as thirty percent on your yearly cooling bill. You need an AC contractor who wants to do the job right, knows how to do the job right and cares enough about customer satisfaction to ensure that the job is done right.

For fast, 24-hour air conditioning and heat pump installation and services, call American Cooling and Heating today.





The Rising Price of R-22 Refrigerant: Not The Only Reason You Should Replace Your Outdated Air Conditioning System

Around this time of year, Phoenix area residents and businesses start receiving flyers pertaining to Glendale, Scottsdale and Mesa air conditioning installation services. Many of these papers will mention the rising price and scarcity of R-22 refrigerant. Sometimes such sales literature can trigger memories – memories of last year’s amplified cooling bill or how hot it got in spite of the labors of your aged central AC system or of how much it costs for Freon replacement in that leaky upstairs unit.

For many homeowners, the memories will trigger action. Some will make a phone call. Others, with all good intentions of follow-up, will slip the flyer on top the stack in a bedroom vanity whatnot shelf. Perhaps you will keep it closer by adding it to the pile of future-reads that you keep near the computer desk. In either event thrifty homeowners recognize the truths relayed via the flyer. If your AC is over ten years old, there is good reason for making contact with a Phoenix AC installation professional.

Right now that ancient Phoenix sky may be overcast and that blazing afternoon sun isn’t baking your roof and steaming the inside of your Glendale home. Government restrictions concerning the production of Freon (R-22 refrigerant) haven’t yet forced you to take advantage of energy-efficient air conditioning technologies now offer by Amana, Carrier and other top brand designers of heating and cooling equipment. And perhaps thoughts of making it just one more season hinder your response to a change that may be much more valuable than you think.

Here are a few reasons why the rising price of Freon should not be your only decision-making measuring stick. 

Prices Just Keep On Rising

U.S. government plans to phase out ozone depleting chemicals such as R-22 refrigerant are right on schedule. Over the last six months, Freon prices have climbed at an unprecedented speed. Production is on the decrease; panic buying is on the increase. The price of R-22 refrigerant is up by four times what it was just six months ago.

The push for settling the issue is near its end. By 2015, the government expects and demands a 90% reduction in the production of Freon. Meantime, the price of the replacement product, R410a, continues to drop. In the end result, Freon will cease to be available. Air conditioners installed before 2010 will experience Freon shortages, increased repair costs and the certainty of a future forced-replacement of the cooling system.

New Energy Standards and Increased Comfort at a Lower Cost

Ok. You don’t like Uncle Sam forcing your hand. No one does. But for the moment, why not lay the Freon issue aside. Here is an even better reason for calling in a Phoenix AC installation expert: 

  • Cost Effectiveness.

The best investments are often the most costly. Modern AC technology includes energy-efficient solutions designed to reduce your cooling cost, increase your personal at-home comfort level, and help protect the environment even when the systems are operating.

Here is an example from the extreme side of how new air conditioning technology can reduce energy expenses. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) a new DEVAP air conditioner process designed to combine desiccant-based dehumidification with indirect evaporative cooling can actually reduce the cost of industrial cooling by up to 81%. According to the project managers, even areas with dry climates such as Phoenix Arizona can benefit from the power of this new technology.

For now, DEVAP may not yet be an option for Phoenix homeowners. Yet the very technology that brings it into play is already working on your behalf. Using the free energy savings calculator available via the U.S. Small Business Administration, here is an example of what a Phoenix homeowner can save by installing an energy efficient central AC system. The following figures are based upon installing a new 2.5 ton 13.0 SEER energy efficient system.

Energy Ratings for AC Installation

In the summary, the bottom line relates to a percentage of the retail purchase price of the unit itself. The life-cycle energy savings amounts to nearly 25,000 KWh of electrical costs. The Net life-cycle savings pump out at $1,768. The value of the investment is obvious. 

Other Considerations

1) Avoid “dry charged” R-22 units. Although the original costs of such discount units may come in cheaper than an energy-star air conditioning system, they are not compliant with the regulations that demand forced upgrade to R-410a systems 

2) Slow leaks can develop in R-410a air conditioners as well as in R-22 refrigerant units, however the time is near when Freon just won’t be available. In the meanwhile, that yearly R-22 recharge is costing more and more.

3) Add ceiling fans to your home. Moving air tends to cool better than stale air. A few well-placed ceiling fans provide a low-cost reduction to your energy bill.

American Cooling and Heating

As a Phoenix AC installation professional, American Cooling and Heating is licensed, bonded and insured for residential, commercial and industrial HVAC and refrigeration services in the following areas: 

  • Glendale
  • Mesa
  • Scotsdale
  • And other Phoenix areas.

Accredition includes:

  • NATE
  • ACCA
  • And the Arizona BBB.

The quality of our heating and cooling services and workmanship is 100% guaranteed. Triple digit temperatures in the valley do not condemn you to eternal triple digit utility bills. Call today.


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