Why was R22 phased out

For 40 years R22, or more commonly known – Freon, has been used throughout the air-conditioning industry. As of January 1st, 2020 the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed a ban on all production of R22 refrigerant. For the past 30 years the EPA has slowly issued a “phase out” as our part of the Montreal Protocol (Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer) a treaty agreed upon in 1987 designed to stop production and import of ozone depleting substance. 197 nations signed this treaty and as of today we are one of the leading nations in eliminating R22.

Unfortunately, the problem of today is that many home owners still have older residential air conditioner units. Because R22 can no longer be manufactured or imported within the United States many Americans will soon find it tough to find companies who have R22 refrigerant on hand. Due to this ban, severe price inflation has affect many companies and homeowners who race to get maintain their units for the season. Some home owners who look to fix a leak or who are in need of a new compressor will be shocked to hear that a simple fix may cost thousands.

In accordance with the phase out of R22 the EPA now recommends a newer and friendlier refrigerant both for the environment and your unit, R-410A (Keep in mind that R-410A cannot be used in replacement of R22 or be used to top off your older units.). Luckily, R-410A is shown to absorb and release heat better than R22 as well as improve performance in a way that puts less stress on your compressor, a leading cause of system failure. This is good news for those who are in the market of a new unit or has already made the switch. Those who have purchased a unit manufactured after 1996 should already using R-410A.

What does this mean for you?

If you are a homeowner with an older unit which still uses R22 we recommend that you start preparation for future replacement. Although it would be ideal to continue the use of an older unit until it no longer runs, it is highly ill advised as you put yourself in an emergency situation, thus, we advise you plan out your replacement in a way that works for you.  Here at Burnsville Heating & Air we no longer carry R22 as most of our suppliers have run dry themselves. We recommend you plan for replacement before you are left in the heat. Contact our office at 952-894-0005 to speak with our sales associates to discuss replacement and financing options.