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The R-22 Phaseout

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


The United States is phasing out the importation and production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). This greatly effects our industry because most residential air conditioning units manufactured prior to 2010, use HCFC-22. Which is more commonly known as R-22.


Why is R-22 Being Phased Out?


The goal of the R-22 phase-out is to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. Under the U.S. Clean Air Act, the EPAbegan the framework for the phase-out in 1993. HCFCs are considered an ozone depleting substance, so by phasing out production they hope to reduce the risk of skin cancer caused by UV radiation exposure. Since HCFCs are greenhouse gases, it also may be a contributing factor to climate change.


How Does this Affect Me?


If your air conditioning unit uses R-22, immediate action is not required. However, as of 2015 production of R-22 has been reduced by 90%, and by 2020 there will be no production or import allowed. This means that price of R-22 has already sky rocketed because there is limited supply.


Planning for the Future


According to the EPA, you are not required to stop using R-22 or replace existing equipment. However, you must have a reliable service contractor that has EPA Section 608 certification to service equipment containing R-22.

If your unit is low on refrigerant, it is recommended that you request the service technician to locate and repair the leak instead of just “topping it off”. This will optimize performance of your existing system, and ideally reduce the need for additional pounds of costly R-22.

In some cases, financially it could be a more sound decision to replace the unit. If your system requires a costly repair, it may be in your best interested to look into a more energy efficient model that could significantly save on your energy costs and eliminate the need for R-22.


Where Can I Find More Information?


For more information and questions about servicing your R-22 air conditioner, please call Handyside at 717-938-2521.


Or, to learn more about the HCFC Phaseout visit www.epa.gov/ozone/ 


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