What Will Happen To R22 And How It Affects You
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, R22 refrigerant will become illegal in the United States on January 1, 2020. After that R22 refrigerant phase out date, R22 refrigerant can no longer be manufactured or imported into the US.
After R22 becomes illegal on January 1, 2020, it will become much more difficult (and expensive) to get R22. As a result, repairing older R22 systems will become very expensive when the repair requires adding refrigerant to the system. Except for some simple electrical issues, many types of emergency repairs do require recharging refrigerant.
If you’ve been getting by with an air conditioner that’s leaking refrigerant by periodically adding more R22 refrigerant (which we DO NOT recommend by the way), that will become cost-prohibitive and now is the time to figure out your plan for replacing the system.
The Montreal Protocol
Fast forward a few decades and the world realized that R22 refrigerant was aiding in the depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer. Not a great thing. So, the U.S. EPA, in cooperation with other agencies and groups around the world, initiated a phase out of many ozone-depleting agents as part of an international agreement known as the Montreal Protocol. The regulation lists many HCFCs and CFCs (different types of refrigerants that deplete the ozone layer), but R22 is considered one of the worst offenders.
Timeline And R22 Phase Out Progress In 2018
In 2003, the phase out of R22 production and imports began. By early 2010 the production and import of R22 became prohibited. However, servicing current, existing equipment is still acceptable if there is an available supply of R22. To confirm the public’s compliance with the new law, all sales of R22 must be purchased by a certified technician. The production and import of R22 will be continually reduced by law until 2020, when all production and import will be eliminated. Only recycled R22 refrigerant will be available to service existing air conditioners after 2020.
If Your Unit Was Built After 2010, You’re Probably Safe
If your heating and air conditioning system was built after January 2010, the R22 phase out dilemma may not apply to you, because it’s possible that your system uses the new, approved replacement refrigerant, R410a. However, systems installed after 2010 could potentially use R22, so it’s best to check with an HVAC Expert. You can always find this and the refrigerant type by checking the nameplate on your condenser (the condenser is the outside unit).
Still Have Questions?
If you’re still unsure of your status as it relates to this confusing issue we will be glad to answer your questions. Please call us today and we’ll discuss your options and how to move forward.