What is the R-22 Ban?

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The HVAC industry is preparing for the planned phase-out of Refrigerant 22, a refrigerant that is commonly used in air conditioning equipment. Because it’s harmful to the ozone layer, production and import was limited in 2010. Starting January 1st, 2020, R-22 will no longer be produced or imported in the U.S. Only recovered, recycled or reclaimed supplies will be available. 

If your air conditioning unit is older than 10 years, it’s likely that it uses R-22. Below you’ll find more information about this ban and how it affects you. 


What is the R-22 Ban? 

After January 1st, 2020, HVAC systems that use R-22 will become obsolete. The reason for this is because of R-22’s harmful effects on the ozone layer. The first efforts were put into place 10 years ago. Since this time, the manufacturing of R-22 has been steadily declining. 

Most AC units made over the last decade have shifted to other refrigerants. But, there are still plenty of homes that have R-22 units. If you are one of them, your system can no longer be repaired or serviced after this date. Even though some R-22 will be available, we can expect it to be costly and difficult to obtain. 


What Options Do R-22 System Owners Have? 

If you have an R-22 air conditioner, you have three options: 


  • Continue using your system for as long as possible. If your system is running fine and has life left, you can continue using it until you need an expensive repair. At that time, you can choose to purchase a new system. It’s risky, but it may be the best option at this time. 


  • Convert your current system. Some AC units can be retrofitted to accept a different refrigerant. If you want to know if your system qualifies, you’ll need an inspection from us to determine if this is possible. Even so, it may only be a short-term solution. 


  • Replace your system proactively. This is probably the best option because it won’t leave you high and dry. By shopping around now, you can take your time to find an air conditioning system that meets your needs and budget and saves money on your utility bills. 


To have your system looked at for retrofitting, or to learn more about your options for installing a new AC unit, contact Global Warming and Cooling today. Our technicians are fully licensed and trained, and we are honest and transparent about everything we do. Let us prioritize which systems to replace first and help you prepare for the R-22 ban.