Why is R-22 Banned and what does it mean for you?

Dear Valued Customer,

As the R-22 Phaseout nears completion, we want to provide you with some insights that will help you navigate the myths and misunderstanding surrounding this ac refrigerant.

Some of you may remember the worldwide panic that ensued when it was discovered in the 1980s that a huge “hole” over the Antarctic had formed in the Earth’s ozone layer. Without the shielding provided by the ozone, all life on Earth would be basically cooked by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Research found that the ozone layer’s depletion was due to widespread use of CFCs in heavy industry, aerosol cans, and you guessed it air conditioning units.

When Freon is used, the emissions put out into the environment are incredibly harmful, one of those is chlorine. Chlorine is extremely damaging to the earth’s Ozone layer when released into the air. It along with several other greenhouse gases and emissions were noted as harmful to the environment and in 1987 The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was put into effect. This prompted the phase-out of R22 and other gases in the first place. Some industries were able to adapt and make the switch faster, cars haven’t been using their version of Freon since 1994! Now it’s time for homes and air conditioners to do something about it.

R-22 phase-out timeline*

% Reduction from past production baseline75%85%90%95%

This means you’re running out of runway to make the change. It’s recommended you consult your service provider about a retrofit or replacement. Being proactive may save you on operation and maintenance costs in the long term.

How do I know if my HVAC Unit Uses r-22?

There’s an easy rule of thumb for whether or not your AC unit is running R-22 or another type of refrigerant. If your unit was built before 2010, it is likely your unit still runs on R-22. The phase-out of R-22 began then, with newer models making the switch preemptively, when there was still time to do so. In 2010, the importation and production of R-22 was banned, so AC manufacturers took the first step by building newer units that ran on other refrigerants.
  • Before 2010, likely R-22
  • After 2010, likely not R-22
You’ll notice of course we stuck to  ‘likely R-22’ and ‘likely not R-22.’ This time period of AC unit manufacturing and installation wasn’t set one way so you need to go to the source, your unit and determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. Look on the unit’s nameplate to find out exactly what it runs on.

Your A/C unit's refrigerant type can be found on the unit's nameplate.

our official policy

Providing our customers with the essential services they need while maintaining the safety of both our team & community is our top priority.

We will not service R-22 systems for the following reasons: 

Your Options

Get a new air conditioning unit that uses EPA approved refrigerant. The most common alternative to R-22 is R-410a. This is without a doubt the best course of action. It might cost you more money upfront, but it will give you the best results. You’ll save stress and money in the long term when your AC unit uses an EPA approved refrigerant instead of the old, hazardous stuff. 
Retrofit your unit so that it can operate using a different refrigerant. This will save you from having to deal with the effects of the R-22 phase out as well as the cost of buying a new unit. However, this won’t change the fact that your unit is older. If your unit is older, then it’s already nearing the end of it’s lifespan, so retrofitting this new feature might not give you that many more years. Please consult one of our expert HVAC technicians to better understand your options. You could be spending a pretty penny to modify a unit that will break down in a year or two.
That’s right you could always do nothing. Don’t replace or retrofit your unit. Okay this isn’t really an option. If your AC is breaking down now or isn’t cooling like it should,  now is the time to act! This is not a recommended option and by law is illegal to use R-22 refrigerant in older HVAC units.