In an effort to keep you “in the know” about recent EPA changes with regards to R-22 refrigerant (what most homeowners use in their air conditioning system).
Important notes about R-22
Taking important steps to protect our ozone layer
As part of a worldwide effort to protect the Earth’s ozone layer, the EPA has begun the phaseout of R-22 refrigerant. R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon and is the most commonly used refrigerant in air conditioning equipment. It is one of the substances known to have depleted the Earth’s protective ozone layer and actually created an “ozone hole” over the South Pole. For this reason, the production and use of R-22 is being phased out, and new equipment will use ozone-friendly alternative refrigerants such as R-410A.
Timeline for phasing out R-22
January 1, 2010 – The U.S. bans production and import of R-22 for new equipment only (R-22 can still be produced or imported for servicing of existing equipment). This means that all new air conditioning equipment produced in, or imported to the U.S. must use R-410A or another alternative to R-22.
January 1, 2015 – The U.S. bans the sale and use of R-22 except for certain uses, including ongoing servicing needs of existing equipment.
January 1, 2020 – The U.S. entirely bans the production and import of R-22. Only recycled/ reclaimed or stockpiled quantities of R-22 will be available for servicing existing equipment.
Why is the phaseout over such a long period?
The most important thing to note is that the R-22 phaseout won’t be abrupt. The phaseout has been designed to allow adequate time to switch to ozone-friendly refrigerants as part of normal equipment replacement, so consumers and businesses can avoid having to replace equipment that still has useful life.