What you need to know about
the phase out of
HCFC Refrigerant R-22
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not prohibiting the continued
use of refrigerant R-22 in existing air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
So current owners of R-22 units can continue to use and service their equipment.
However, as of January 01, 2010, systems that use R-22 are no longer being manufactured.
Supply & Demand
You can anticipate the cost of R-22 to increase as production of R-22
decreases every year between now and 2015 until phased out completely by 2020.
During this transition period the demand may certainly exceed supply and costs for R-22 will surely rise.
- You may continue using
refrigerant R-22 in your systems, but make sure that thorough leak testing is done
during your service maintenance program. Also, experienced technicians can be instrumental in identifying
and preventing potential leaks, which will involve replacing the more costly R-22.
- Or, you may convert your existing R-22 systems to a new safe approved alternate refrigerant, in which case
you can store the recovered refrigerant R-22 for use in servicing other equipment you may own or reuse the R-22 refrigerant while phasing
in the conversion of your systems. Units that are less than 10 years old are good candidates for conversion.
- Of course, ideally you can purchase new equipment using safe and approved refrigerants.
Why is this happening?
In 1987 an international treaty was opened for signage by all countries of the world.
It was created in order to make those that ratified it responsible for phasing out substances
which were believed to be ozone depleting. This document is the Montreal Protocol and it went
into force on January 1, 1989. Currently 196 countries have ratified the protocol. Amendment VI
of the Clean Air Act of 1990 includes provisions in order to implement the Montreal Protocol in the United States.
What does this have to do with Refrigerant R-22?
HCFC-22 (R-22) has been the primary refrigerant used in
most air conditioning units and some refrigeration
systems for over 40 years. However, scientists have
found that R-22 may be a contributing factor to ozone
depletion as well as global warming when leaked from the
various units that run on it. Therefore, it is imperative
that the owners and operators of systems which utilize
refrigerant R-22 are responsible by discussing their options
and the actions to be taken with their HVAC technician.
For additional information or to schedule a consultation to determine the best option for your company please call us at (973) 779 – 9977.