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  • R22 Phase Out

    Have you been limping along with your older R22 air conditioner? Hoping to avoid replacing it during the high season? Especially if you know your unit has a refrigerant leak, you may be trying to decide how long you can get by before you’ll have to invest in a new system. An important factor in making that decision is answering the question: when does R22 become illegal?

    When does R22 become illegal in the US: January 1, 2020.

    Since you’re reading this article, you probably know that the former industry-standard R22 refrigerant (also known as Freon) is being phased out worldwide due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer.

    As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, R22 refrigerant will become illegal in the United States on January 1, 2020. After that R22 refrigerant phase out date, R22 refrigerant can no longer be manufactured or imported into the US.

    What does the R22 phase out timeline mean for you?

    After R22 becomes illegal on January 1, 2020, it will become much more difficult (and expensive) to get R22. As a result, repairing older R22 systems will become very expensive when the repair requires adding refrigerant to the system. Except for some simple electrical issues, many types of emergency repairs do require recharging refrigerant.

    If you’ve been getting by with an air conditioner that’s leaking refrigerant by periodically adding more R22 refrigerant (which we DO NOT recommend by the way), that will become cost-prohibitive and now is the time to figure out your plan for replacing the system.

    The Options for R22 System Owners

    We believe in being proactive and being transparent. That’s why we have been talking about this issue for some time now, so they understand the situation and can plan accordingly.

    In general, owners of R22 air conditioners will have 3 choices:

    1.  Do nothing until your system needs an expensive repair.
    2. Retrofit (or convert) your old R22 equipment to use an existing refrigerant.
    3. Replace your system proactively.