Was your air conditioner system installed in 2010 or earlier? If so, it probably runs on R22 refrigerant, also known as Freon. R22 is currently being phased out of production because it contributes to ozone depletion and global warming.
Before the clock runs out, turn to Petro Home Services for R22 replacement services and answers to all your questions about air conditioning systems. We have EPA-certified technicians on hand to discuss your needs and options, including R22 refrigerant draining.
Call 1.888.735.5651 to learn more about your R22 (Freon) replacement options.
FAQs: R22 phase-out for air conditioning systems
What is R22?
R22 refrigerant has been used for years in central air conditioners, heat pumps, mini-splits, car AC systems, and other refrigeration equipment. It’s the key to absorbing and removing heat from a space. You might also hear R22 refrigerant called by its commercial name, Freon, or its chemical name, hydrochlorofluorocarbon 22 (HCFC-22).
Why is R22 being phased out?
R22 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to the depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer and to global warming. Since we rely on the ozone to absorb harmful UV radiation, it’s very important to pinpoint and eliminate the use of greenhouse gases whenever possible. The R22 phase-out is occurring in accordance with the U.S. Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
How do I know if my air conditioning system uses R22?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably uses R22. Check the nameplate on the unit to find out what type of refrigerant is being used.
When is the R22 phase out taking place?
R22 will be completely phased out by January 1, 2020. No new or imported R-22 will be allowed in the U.S. after this date, and technicians will only be able to use recycled, reclaimed, or previously produced R22 to service equipment.
What’s a safer alternative to R22?
All air conditioners and cooling equipment currently being manufactured use hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. R410A is the most common, but others include R134a, R407C and R407A. These refrigerants cool interior spaces just as effectively as R22 with no ozone depleting characteristics and relatively low Global Warming Potential (GWP).
If my system runs on R22, what should I do? What are my R22 Replacement options?
There is no need to replace your existing system if it is operating normally, but if you find that it needs servicing, you have a few options:
- Continue using R22: R22 can still be used to service existing air conditioners, but supplies will be more limited and more expensive as the refrigerant is harder to source. Make sure your air conditioning technician repairs damaged refrigerant lines instead of merely topping off leaky air conditioners. Be aware that 1) older AC models that use R22 may also not be running at peak efficiency, and 2) the cost of R22 will continue to increase as it becomes less available.
- Use a “drop-in” refrigerant: There are “drop-in” refrigerants that can be used in place of R22. Most work okay but will result in decreased reliability and performance. For this reason, you should only use drop-ins for quick, temporary repairs and have a different long-term replacement plan in mind.
- Install a new system: To save money on future repairs and do your part for the environment, consider replacing your air conditioner sooner rather than later, especially if the equipment is already 10 years old. Newer systems uses acceptable refrigerants such as R410s, and has the added benefit of increasing the resale value of your home.
Can R410A be used in an R22 air conditioner?
No. R22-charged units are not compatible with R-410 refrigerant. Using the wrong refrigerant can result in failure of your air conditioning system.
How do I dispose of R22 safely?
If you choose to replace your R22 air conditioner, you can’t simply set it beside a dumpster and expect a garbage truck to come pick it up. The easiest way to safely dispose of R22 is to have a technician drain the refrigerant lines. EPA-certified Petro technicians can perform this service for you while installing your new air conditioner.
Also, be sure to not cut refrigerant lines or remove the compressor before the refrigerant is drained. This is illegal under the Clean Air Act and EPA regulations.
Learn more at the EPA website
For answers to your other R22 replacement questions, or to schedule air conditioning services, please contact Petro Home Services today. Our goal is to help find the most cost-effective, environmentally friendly R22 phase-out option for you.
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