As of January 1, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned R-22. All production and importation of R-22 is banned from the United States.
According to the EPA, “Because R-22 depletes the ozone layer, production and import was further limited in 2010. In 2020, R-22 will no longer be produced or imported. After 2020, only recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies of R-22 will be available.”
R-22 will be completely banned January 1, 2030.
What is R-22?
R-22 is a refrigerant that is used in air-conditioning equipment. The release of this chemical has been shown to deplete the Earth’s protective ozone layer. Thus, the EPA has banned production of this refrigerant.
What the R-22 Ban Means to You
Owners with an R-22 System may continue to use their equipment. However, as R-22 is now banned, any repairs to a unit that requires adding R-22 refrigerant to the system will no longer be possible. Any R-22 that was previously produced and still in stock can be used. It is also important to keep in mind that as the stock of R-22 shrinks, the price for R-22 will increase.
While most repairs tend to be electrical in nature any repairs that require R-22 when there is none left to use will need to replace their unit. Additionally, most maintenance checks do require a refrigerant recharge.
R-22 Units and Replacement Options
Customers with an R-22 system can continue to use the system and get as much life out of the unit as possible. However, if a repair is needed it could mean an emergency system replacement, which is typically more costly than a planned HVAC system update.
Some R-22 units may be converted, however most conversions are not possible, and a conversion only buys you a bit more time with the unit. The price of conversion is not worth it, and a new unit is recommended.
The best option for customers with older units that require R-22 refrigerant is to discuss a full system replacement.
If you are unsure whether your unit uses R-22 or have any questions regarding your unit, please contact us and one of our HVAC professionals can answer any questions and walk you through any issues you may have.