Residential Air Conditioning and the Phaseout of HCFC-22 (R-22)
What You Need to Know
What Is the HCFC Phaseout?
Under the U.S. Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the United States is phasing out the production and import of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in order to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. By phasing out the production of ozone-depleting substances like HCFCs, we are reducing the risk of skin cancer caused by exposure to UV radiation. In addition, many of these ozone-depleting substances, as well as their substitutes, are greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
No Immediate Change Is Required
HCFC-22, commonly referred to as R-22, is used as a refrigerant in many applications, including residential air conditioning (AC) systems. Starting on January 1, 2020, U.S. production and import of HCFC-22 will end, but you may continue to use HCFC-22 in your existing system for as long as necessary. HCFC-22 that is recovered and reclaimed, along with HCFC-22 produced prior to 2020, will help meet the needs of owners of existing HCFC-22 systems.
Planning for the Future Is Important
Even though there is no immediate need for change, HCFC-22 supply will decline over the next few years, and prices may rise. By asking your service technician to check for leaks and perform preventive maintenance, you can help keep your refrigerant emissions down and reduce the need to purchase additional HCFC-22. Air conditioning equipment generally runs most efficiently on the type of refrigerant it was designed for, but when the time does come to replace or retrofit your system, there are many non-ozone-depleting alternatives available.
How can I find out if my home air conditioner contains HCFC-22?
Most air conditioners have a nameplate on the unit that identifies the refrigerant it contains and other information, such as safety certifications and electrical ratings.
For more information or to set up a free estimate to replace your old R-22 system please contact our office
Information is taken from epa.gov