There has been much talk about the R-22/Freon Phase Out, so we assembled a list of valuable information you can share with family and friends.
What is R-22?
The EPA is phasing out Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) refrigerants because they are damaging the ozone layer which is protecting us from harmful sun radiation. They currently focus on refrigerants like HCFC-22 (R-22/Freon) and HCFC-142b. R-22 is often used in air conditioning equipment which is why certain AC users are impacted.
When and where will this happen?
The EPA has already banned the production, import and use of all HCFCs, except for continuing service needs of refrigeration equipment back in 2015. As of January 2020, remaining production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b is illegal. Remaining stock can still be used, but with this bottleneck prices will inevitably rise. This applies to the entire Country.
Who is affected?
R-22 is primarily used for units older than 10 years.
What are my options?
You have two options. You can keep your current unit and maintain it professionally. However, keep in mind it is illegal to intentionally release refrigerant. So, please ask your technician if they are EPA Section 608 certified to properly maintain your unit.
The other option is to replace the impacted unit with a new one. New units often use non-ozone depleting HFC refrigerant blends like R-410a. EPA reviews alternative refrigerants and maintains a list of acceptable substitutes for household and light commercial air conditioning