R-22 Refrigerant Is Going Away!
Consumers, equipment manufacturers, distributors and everyone should know and be prepared for the January 1, 2020 cuttoff when no new or imported R-22 Air Conditioning refrigerant will be allowed in the US.
Therefore, be aware that if your older AC system break downs due to leaking refrigerant, you may not be able to get a recharge!
Air Conditioning R-22 Refrigerant Is Considered An Ozone-Depleting Substance And It Will Be Phased Out By 2020
Why Was R-22 Created In The First Place?
To understand why R-22 refrigerant must be banned, it helps to know why it was developed in the first place.
In 1928, a mixture of carbon, fluorine and chlorine known as CFC was used as a refrigerant, but was determined to be unsafe for use in the home and unsafe for the environment rather quickly.
HCFC was developed as a replacement and was considered safer because it was not flammable, toxic or corrosive and it was odorless.
However, after more testing in the mid-1970s, the EPA determined that R22 is just as bad for the environment over the long term because it damages the ozone layer.
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The EPA and related international agencies began actively phasing out R22 Refrigerant in 2010. It phased out 75 percent of HCFC by limiting manufacturers to how much they could produce and consume, although there were some exemptions. Reclamation, recycling and reusing R22 was still allowed, but was not allowed to be used in any newly manufactured appliances or equipment.
The next phase of the ban began in 2015 and is expected to continue through 2019. Agencies further decreased production and consumption of R22 by 90 percent in 2015. As of that same year, there are no more exemptions for any manufacturers. Some companies can still reclaim, recycle and reuse HCFC.
Between 2020 and 2029, there will be a 99.5 percent reduction of R22. New production will be prohibited and everybody must reduce consumption. Only licensed reclaimers will be allowed to recycle and reuse HCFC refrigerant. The process will require adherence to strict guidelines.
In 2030, the EPA will destroy any remaining R22 to complete the transition. From there, this refrigerant will be completely banned.
What’s The Next Step? New, Alternative Refrigerants
For more than a decade, the industry has migrated to higher-efficiency, newer units designed, engineered, and manufactured to use R-410A, which is an ozone safe refrigerant.
R-410A, often referred to by a brand name like Puron, has been approved for use in new residential air conditioners. It is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) which does not contribute to ozone depletion.
There are no limitations on use of R-410A, and newer units provide much higher efficiency ratings overall saving you in energy costs, and is much better for the environment.