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National Refrigeration explains why R-22 has been banned and discusses what homeowners need know about their air conditioners.

What to Know About R-22 Refrigerant

By National Refrigeration June 17, 2020

If your air conditioning unit uses R-22 refrigerant, an ozone-depleting substance (ODS), you should know that as of January 1, 2020, production and import of R-22 refrigerant is illegal in the United States. While continuing use of your air conditioner or heat pump system using R-22 refrigerant is allowed, it does mean that if your system needs a repair that involves refrigerant, you may need to make the choice between a costly repair or a system replacement.

What is refrigerant?

The refrigerant in your AC or heat pump is the fluid that flows inside the coils of your equipment to cool and dehumidify the air in your home. Refrigerant is necessary for air conditioning, refrigeration and freezing technologies.

Why was R-22 phased out?

R-22 is phasing out because it’s an outdated refrigerant that has been shown to have a significant negative impact on Earth’s ozone layer. The EPA (download the pdf) has discontinued use and sales of the refrigerant, starting in 2020 the USA has banned all R-22 importation.

How do I know if my AC uses R22?

R-22 has been the most common refrigerant for some time now, and most air conditioners manufactured prior to 2011 use R-22 refrigerant. Any of our technicians will easily be able to determine if your AC uses R-22 at the time of your air conditioning system tune-up.

Will I get in trouble for having an R-22 system?

No, but the refrigerant may be hard to get your hands on. Regardless, we highly recommend that you take care of your air conditioner with regular maintenance or book an energy-saving tune-up, which can significantly increase your energy efficiency. Doing so will save you money on cooling bills without impacting your home comfort.

What are my options?

The ban doesn’t require you to replace a functioning R-22 refrigerant air conditioner. However, you may need to evaluate your options if your AC fails or requires emergency repairs. We are happy to evaluate your system and go over your options based on what we find. Repair may be an option, or a full unit replacement may be needed.

How will a new system change my use of R-22?

According to energy.gov, switching to a high-efficiency air conditioner, and taking other actions to keep your home cool, could reduce energy use for air conditioning by 20% to 50%.

New, high-efficiency air conditioning equipment uses a cleaner refrigerant called R-410, also known as Puron. It is more eco-friendly, domestically available, and will improve your indoor and outdoor air quality. Contact us for a free quote on an air conditioner that uses R-410 refrigerant today!

About National Refrigeration
Since 1969

National Refrigeration is a unique family company: one where we share our focus on our family of employees with yours. That’s why we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We know that our reputation is on the line with every job that we do and will settle for nothing less than perfection. It’s been that way since our modest beginnings in 1969.

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