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The R22 Ban – How it Effects You

The R22 Ban - How it Effects You

HCFC-22 (also called R-22, or the brand-name Freon) has been the most widely utilized refrigerant in HVAC equipment since the adoption of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Because of R-22s expansive adoption throughout the HVAC industry, the EPA outlined a 10-year phase-out period, starting January 1, 2010. As of January 1st, 2020 the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities. This will allow for limited amounts of R-22 to still be available, but since the supply is slowly running out, the cost of this refrigerant will continue to rise. If your home air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it is very likely that it utilizes an R-22 refrigerant. Below are some frequently asked questions relating to the R22 phase

R22 – Frequently Asked Questions

I have an R-22 air-conditioning system, do I need to replace it?

No. While the production and importation of R-22 ceased in 2020, recycled R-22 remains available for servicing systems manufactured before 2010.

Will the cost of servicing my R-22 system increase?

If your system has active R-22 refrigerant leak(s) that require annual, or more frequent refrigerant charging/topping off, the cost of adding R-22 to your air-conditioner could increase if the supply of recycled or stockpiled R-22 quantities contracts.

Is a new air-conditioner more efficient than my older R-22 system?

Most new 410A systems are more efficient than their older R-22 counterparts. One way to check is to compare your existing system’s SEER rating to replacement options. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The lowest SEER systems on the market today are 13 SEER, and the highest-rated systems are 27 SEER.

When should I replace my R-22 air-conditioner?

The EPAs lengthy phase-out period for R-22 allows you to replace your air-conditioning equipment, with ozone-friendly refrigerants, when you normally would. The standard useful life for HVAC systems is typically 20 years, and the EPA banned the production of R-22 systems in 2010. Given this, most homeowners will need to consider upgrading from their exiting R-22 air-conditioning system by 2030.

More about R-22 and the Ozone layer

Residential Air Conditioning, R-22 Freon, and the Ozone Layer

In 1987 the Montreal Protocol on “Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” was adopted globally. The Protocol’s primary objective was to phase out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). As part of the Montreal Protocol, the United States committed to a collaborative effort to phase out ozone-depleting chemical compounds, including CFCs and HCFCs. Many of the most popular refrigerants in 1987, were CFCs; however, by the mid-90s, CFCs had been completely phased out and the US EPA focused on the reduction and eventual phase-out of HCFCs.

HCFC-22 (also called R-22, or the brand-name Freon) has been the most widely utilized refrigerant in HVAC equipment since the adoption of the Montreal Protocol. If your home air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it is very likely that it has an R-22 refrigerant. Because of R-22s expansive adoption throughout the HVAC industry, the EPA outlined a 10-year phase-out period, starting January 1, 2010. As of January 1st, 2020 the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities. This will allow for limited amounts of R-22 to still be available, but since the supply is slowly running out, the cost of this refrigerant will continue to rise. As a homeowner, you will need to consider several factors in your decision to purchase a new unit, including efficiency, condition (refrigerant leaks, etc.), reliability, and the refrigerant used. In the meantime, R22 remains available for servicing equipment manufactured before 2010.

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