Where is the R22 Refrigerant Phase Out at Now

R22 Refrigerant
R22 Refrigerant
rising cost and maintenance of old air conditioners
rising cost and maintenance of old air conditioners
R410A Refrigerant
R410A Refrigerant

The time is rapidly approaching when the use of r22 refrigerant will be completely banned in the United States and when that happens, air conditioners manufactured before 2010 will become essentially useless. The hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) used in the manufacturing of r22 have been cited as harmful to the ozone layer and after 2020 will no longer be legally manufactured or imported.

As of January 2010 the U.S. was required to reduce the consumption of r22 refrigerant by 65 percent. By 2015, the production of r22 is to be reduced by 95 percent and by 2020 production and import will be banned completely, leaving existing units relying on the refrigerant that has been recovered and recycled. This will cause the price of the refrigerant to become even more expensive, making replacement of older units more economical.

Currently, the price of r22, which has been in use for about the last 40 years, is triple what it was at the start of the changeover. Homeowners can expect to see not only continued price increases but also shortages of the gas as the limited supply is depleting. They will also see heating and air conditioning companies carrying around two sets of test and repair tools as they will need to be able to service both old and new units.

The refrigerant replacing r22 requires more pressure to function and the new form of gas, known as r410a manufactured with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), is not compatible with older units. Homeowners will need to properly maintain their air conditions and have any leaks repaired as soon as they are discovered or face the choice of going without air conditioners or replacing them with newer models.

Future considerations

As the deadline for a total ban on r22 approaches homeowners should keep three things in mind:

  • Once r22 refrigerant is phased out the ozone layer should become less damaged and begin to be repaired. It will also help reduce the incidences of skin cancer and the dangers caused by UV radiation;
  • There is no need to immediately replace older air conditioning equipment and r22 can continue to be used in the older units, but eventually the gas will become too expensive to be practical;
  • There is currently no ban on the use of r22 in older equipment, but that day is coming.

Homeowners should take the opportunity remaining to verify that their current systems are in good working condition and make plans to replace them in the future. Those with older units that may have a limited life expectancy will want to look into changing to newer units sooner rather than later, making the change on their own schedule.

Have the system checked out by a reputable heating and air conditioning professionals to determine if they will last long enough to survive the phase out and if not, take the appropriate steps to have it replaced with a newer model. Taking the time and effort now can eliminate the need to install new equipment later, something that may become necessary in the near future.


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Comments 2 comments

Greg Canniff 4 years ago

Dont kid yourself......R-410A is higher in GWP (global warming potential) than the R-22 it is replacing. R-410A is only a stopgap until a near zero ODU (ozone depleating potential) and GWP gas is ready to replace these gases. One has been developed but the manufacturing of it is not up and running yet. It will go into the automovie world to replace R-134a which is high in both ODU and GWP.


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DubstepMaker 3 years ago from Earth

great hub thanks, very interesting stuff here.

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