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What is the R22 Phase Out?

by VitalStorm Content on June 14, 2019

r22 phase out

Unless you work in the HVAC industry or you replaced your air conditioner recently, you might not be familiar with the upcoming “R22 phase out.” This term refers to law changes about a refrigerant substance called R22, or Freon.

So, what is R22, and why is the government phasing it out of production? Our team at Blue Flame can explain. Here is everything you need to know about the R22 phase out and how it will affect consumers.

What is R22 or Freon?

R22/Freon is a colorless gas that was used in aerosol cans and refrigerants for decades. It is a stable, non-toxic gas that seemed like an excellent replacement for old school refrigerants, such as ammonia. If you own an HVAC system that was manufactured before 2003, it probably still uses R22.

What is the R22 Phase Out?

In the 1970s, scientists first started to hypothesize that R22 might be destroying the ozone layer. In 1987, an international environmental agreement called the Montreal Protocol decided to implement the phase out of R22 in consumer products.

Freon causes so much harm to the ozone layer that starting on January 1, 2020 it will be illegal in the United States. That means HVAC technicians and consumers alike will not be able to buy R22 anywhere in the country.

How Will the R22 Phase Out Affect Me?

If you have a newer HVAC system that doesn’t rely on R22/Freon, you won’t have to worry about the phase out at all. However, if you have an older AC that requires R22 refills for repairs, you will face some significant expenses.

Since access to R22 will become so much more limited in 2020, the price to repair problems with your HVAC system will rise. Refilling the refrigerant is one the most common methods HVAC technicians use to repair a broken AC.

This means that you will have to choose between replacing your old AC unit, retrofitting it with new eco-friendly refrigerants, or paying for major additional expenses every time your old unit breaks down and needs a repair.

AC Repair vs. Replacement

Not every system is eligible for retrofitting. Some homeowners will have to face the decision about when to replace their HVAC system sooner rather than later.

The R22 Phase out has changed the conversation about AC repair vs. replacement. Minor repairs might have been more cost-effective than an entire replacement in the past. But soon the upkeep for an outdated AC will become so expensive that it will be more beneficial to invest the money in an updated system.

Need AC Replacement Before the R22 Phase Out? Call Blue Flame

If you have an old AC unit on its last leg, we recommend replacing it before the repairs become more expensive. Give us a call at Blue Flame to learn about our HVAC installation process and pricing.

At Blue Flame, we are committed to an exceptional and eco-friendly experience every time you use our heating, air conditioning, and electrical services. Call us at (206) 388-5667 and speak to a member of our team.