HVAC contractors, building owners and homeowners are all bracing for the planned phase out of R22 (Freon). The EPA has legally declared January 1, 2020 as the date when R22 becomes banned in the United States. It is being phased out because of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. After that date, R22 cannot legally be manufactured or sold in the U.S.
What Does the Phase Out Mean for Maintenance and Repairs?
The R22 phase out means that HVAC systems using Freon will become obsolete. If a repair requires adding R22 refrigerant, the only options will be reclaimed and previously-produced R22 refrigerant, which will be in short supply and nearly impossible to get, not to mention incredibly expensive. While some simple repairs do not require recharging the refrigerant, most service calls do. Air conditioning systems that are leaking and periodically need R22 will have no other option than a total replacement.
Advising R22 System Homeowners
So, what about our customers who have an R22-dependent systems? Some R22 systems may be able to convert to a different refrigerant, but more will not. Those systems using R22 can continue operate after January 1, 2020 and get as much life as possible, but only until they need more Freon. Again, at that time, a system replacement will be the only option.
VERY IMPORTANT: If you are considering buying a home, check to see if the system require R22 so you can be sure you negotiate this properly.
The 2020 R22 phase out deadline is fast approaching. If you have an R22-dependent HVAC system, now is the time to start looking at your options for cooling. Call Alaskan Air Conditioning and we’ll work with you be fully prepared to make a best decision on the future of their HVAC system.