R22: The Refrigerant of the Past
What is R22 and what do you need to know about it?
You have probably heard of R22 refrigerant before, but do you know what it is or why it is going away? R22, also known as FreonTM 22 or HCFC-22 Freon, is an HCFC refrigerant used for residential and commercial air conditioning and heat pumps which is currently being phased out.
Since January 1, 2010, the production and import of R22 was banned in any
new air conditioning units.
The phase-out will be complete in 2020 and after that R22 refrigerant will no longer be available as the
production and import of any R22 will be illegal. The only R22 refrigerant that will be available will be through recycled or reclaimed options.
Why is R22 refrigerant getting phased out?
R22 refrigerant was deemed an environmental danger as it contributes to
the depletion of the ozone layer. The U.S. government placed restrictions
on the use of R22 and issued the requirement that it must be
eliminated from use in cooling systems by the year 2020. At this point, R22 is no longer being
manufactured and cannot be used as a refrigerant in any new air conditioning systems, however it is still being used in older equipment.
What does this mean if you currently have R22 running in your air conditioner?
There are replacement refrigerants for R22, which are safer and meet the
current compliant standards in air conditioning equipment. If you have
an older unit which uses R22 and need guidance finding a
replacement refrigerant, please consult with our NATE- and EPA-certified Service Technicians who can give your recommendations about the best option to fit your needs.
If your air conditioner still uses R22, here’s what you need to know:
You may continue to use R22 in your existing system. There is currently no EPA requirement on servicing or usage of existing R22 air conditioning units and they may be used indefinitely. However, if your system develops a leak or requires service, replacement refrigerant may be necessary.
And since the production of R22 will cease completely after January 1, 2020, it will only be available through after-market sales. For example, you can purchase R22 that has been recovered from older systems and salvaged.
Demand of R22 will rise and availability of R22 will become limited and probably scarce. With the ban on production, you cannot purchase R22 new, so there is no guarantee that R22 will even be easily available in the near future.
If you continue to use R22 refrigerant, expect the price to increase dramatically. The prices have already risen and will continue to go up. By 2020, R22 will most likely become very expensive to purchase.
There are substitutes for R22 that may be available to service and recharge your air conditioner. If this is an option you are interested in, please consult with our trained NATE-certified and EPA-certified Service Technicians for recommendations for replacement refrigerant options.
With these factors in mind, it may be worth your while and more cost-effective in the long-run to upgrade your system so you do not have to worry about the supply and demand of R22 in the future. You will also be helping the environment and you will not have to worry about any of the policy changes regarding R22.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call customer service at (702) 830-7553 or click here to schedule.