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Phasing Out Refrigerant R-22: Implications for Your Air Conditioning System

If your HVAC system was installed before 2010, it most likely uses R-22 or Freon, a common air conditioning refrigerant that is now being phased out. Because this change will impact your AC system, it's important to know what your options are. In this blog article, we explain why R-22 is being phased out and what it means for your cooling system.

Why is R-22 being phased out?

R-22 has been widely used as a refrigerant in air conditioning systems for several decades. But due to its harmful impact on the ozone layer, international agreements such as the Montreal Protocol have called for its phase-out. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency instituted a complete ban on production, importation, and distribution effective January 1, 2020. After 2020, only recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies of R-22 will be available.

How does this impact my current air conditioning system?

The production and distribution (not use) of R-22 are being phased out. You are not required to stop using R-22 air conditioners or replace your existing equipment. However, as R-22 supplies dwindle, the cost to recharge a cooling system will continue to increase. For this reason, now is a good time to switch to an ozone-friendly refrigerant.

What are my home cooling options?

With the phase-out of the R-22 refrigerant, you can either retrofit your existing system to be compatible with an alternative refrigerant such as R-410A or upgrade your system.

  • Retrofitting your existing AC system. While you may be able to retrofit your existing AC system, it’s important to note that it may not be feasible or cost-effective—especially for older systems that are nearing the end of their lifespan.

  • Upgrading your AC system. Installing an air conditioning system that uses alternative refrigerants, like R-410A is a more efficient and environmentally-friendly option. R-410A is a widely used alternative refrigerant that has become the industry standard for new AC systems. These cooling systems, such as ductless mini splits, typically have higher energy efficiency ratings and improved overall performance.

Continue with your regular maintenance.

Regardless of what refrigerant you use, routine maintenance by an experienced HVAC technician is essential to the optimal functioning of your air conditioning system. Regularly scheduled AC maintenance can help identify and address any issues in a timely manner, extending the efficiency and lifespan of your system.

Consult with an HVAC professional.

To determine the best course of action, we recommend consulting with one of our experienced HVAC professionals. We can assess your existing system, provide recommendations, and guide you through the process of selecting the most suitable replacement option.

HVAC Installation, Service, Maintenance and Repair

By understanding the implications of the R-22 phase-out you can make informed decisions about your air conditioning system. Whether it's transitioning to an alternative refrigerant or upgrading to a new system, our experienced HVAC technicians are here to guide and assist you throughout the process. Contact us today!

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