The use of R22 refrigerant will become illegal on January 1, 2020. Don’t wait—learn what it means for your HVAC system needs and what your options are going forward.
HENDERSON, NV, October 08, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced an ozone-depleting substances phaseout will take place by 2020. Ozone-depleting substances, or ODS, are materials that have been shown to damage and deplete the earth’s ozone layer.
Under this new policy, the production and import of ODS will become illegal in the United States. The most commonly used ODS today is the refrigerant known as R-22 (or HCFC-22), which is found in some refrigeration equipment and air conditioners.
If you’re worried about how this new ruling will affect your current air conditioning or refrigeration systems, not to worry. Understanding the ban will help you prepare if your system requires R22.
What Is R22 Refrigerant?
Refrigerant is the fluid used inside heat pumps and air conditioning systems. The refrigerant transitions between liquid and gas within the system, which makes it either hot or cold. It either absorbs or puts out heat that changes the air’s temperature that makes its way into your home.
R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which is the most common class II ozone-depleting substance used today. Class II substances have been used as transitional substitutes for class I substances that are already completed phased out in the U.S. Now, R22 and other class II substances are being banned too.
What to Know About the R22 Phaseout
Starting on January 1, 2020, the EPA will ban all R-22 from being manufactured in or imported to the United States. That means if you have a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system that uses R22, you will run into issues when the time comes for repairs.
R22 Phaseout Timeline
The phaseout of R22 has been in progress since 2010:
● January 1, 2010—The EPA banned the production, import, and use of R22, except that needed for servicing needs of existing equipment.
● January 1, 2015—All HCFCs were banned except those needed for continued servicing needs of refrigeration equipment.
● January 1, 2020—Remaining production and import of R22 will be banned. Any servicing needs will rely on recycled or reclaimed R22.
● January 1, 2030—All remaining production and import of all HCFCs will be banned.
Your Options Following the R22 Phaseout
Unless they are very simple repairs, most HVAC service calls require a refrigerant recharge. If you are using a system that requires R22 refrigerant and needs repairs after January 1, 2020, you will be out of luck unless you have access to previously-produced or reclaimed R22. The phaseout timeline gives you time to shift to ozone-friendly refrigerant options.
The ban does not require you to immediately replace a functions HVAC system using R22. However, if your HVAC system using R22 needs consistent repairs, you will eventually be forced to replace the system. Emergency repairs may leave you with no choice but to purchase a new system. In addition, as supplies become more limited, the costs of repairs may exceed the downpayment for a new AC system or heat pump. The small supply will also cause the prices of the refrigerant to climb steadily, making repairs expensive.
It’s best to prepare now so you aren’t blindsided by repairs and maintenance in the new year. R22 supplies are already limited as the year 2020 approaches. If you decide to replace your AC or heat pump before the phaseout completes, you have time to compare costs and look at new products. Thankfully, many heating and cooling dealers offer financing options with affordable payments so you can get started soon.
How to Know if Your System Contains R-22
When the EPA began its R22 ban in 2010, it also banned the manufacturing and installation of any new heat pumps or AC systems that require R22. As a result, new systems were redesigned to use R410A, a safer refrigerant and an alternative to R22.
If your heat pump or AC system was built and installed prior to January 1, 2010, it likely uses R22 refrigerant. Sometimes, system equipment will contain a label showing which refrigerant it uses. But the best way to know for sure is by contacting a trusted HVAC technician to check for you.
Not sure if your system uses R22? An air conditioning and heating expert such as Ambient Edge can check that for you! A technician can come look at your system and confirm its refrigerant needs going forward. An industry trained technician can also help you stay informed about the R22 phaseout so you can save a lot of money in the long-run.
About Ambient Edge
Ambient Edge Heating/Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Inc was established in 2004 in Kingman, Arizona and have since expanded to serve the Las Vegas, Henderson, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Laughlin areas. Their five-star services include repair and servicing of all major HVAC brands, sale, and installation of new Lennox heating and cooling equipment, around-the-clock repair, and much more. Ambient Edge’s mission is to provide quality products and services to commercial and residential customers with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, aiming to do the best job they can—every job, every time.
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