If you are using an AC unit made prior to 2010, then you are likely using a R22 refrigerant (a.k.a. freon), which will be discontinued by 2020 per the EPA’s ruling https://www.epa.gov/ods-phaseout. Any AC unit made after 2010 shouldn’t be using R22 refrigerant, so this blog is only for those of you who have a model made before 2010.
For those homes this ruling affects, here’s what you need to know;
This is not a ban on the use or sale of R22. However, no one will be able to produce R22 in the U.S., so prices are guaranteed to increase, and it will be harder to obtain. Once the phase out is complete, there is no promise you will be able to find refrigerant for your system. The best long-term option is to upgrade your air conditioning unit and start using R-422, which is the replacement refrigerant air conditioning units are using now. Because even the newest units using R22 are moving into the back half of their expected lifespan, you should focus on repairing leaks rather than “topping off the system”. Repairing leaks will save money because you’re increasing the performance of your unit and will protect the ozone layer. https://www.lennox.com/buyers-guide/guide-to-hvac/glossary/r-22-refrigerant.
If you are interested in learning more about this ruling, please click here; https://aristair.com/blog/how-will-the-r22-refrigerant-phase-out-impact-your-commercial-ac/.