For people outside of the mechanical services industry, it is easy to forget about your HVAC systems and simply let them run in the background. In truth, that is what we hope for here at A&G Piping. We want to be the only ones who have to be concerned about your heating and cooling systems. Unfortunately, there are occasionally certain extraordinary circumstances that require you to pay closer attention to your HVAC systems.

Why Are They Phasing Out R22?

According to state.gov, The Montreal Protocol was finalized in 1987 and it “is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances.” The ozone layer works out worldwide to filter out ultraviolet radiation. This is radiation that is linked to cataracts, skin cancer, reduced agricultural performance, and the disruption of marine ecosystems. R22 refrigerant has been proven to be a contributing factor to the depletion of the ozone layer and thus is now being phased out as a small facet of pollution control.  

Why Should I Care About The R22 Refrigerant Phase Out?

For many people, you might not even know what R22 refrigerant is and how it could affect you. R22 refrigerant is a chemical that keeps the air coming out of your air conditioning system cold. That makes it pretty essential to the operation of your systems and your level of comfort.   

According to EPA regulations under sections 601-607 of the Clean Air Act, “All Class I and Class II substances used in air-conditioners and refrigeration equipment must be phased out by 2020. The most common HCFC in use today is HCFC-22 or R-22, a refrigerant still used in existing air conditioners and refrigeration equipment.”

If your air conditioning unit is 10 years older or more, it is likely that it uses R22 refrigerant. What this means for you is that if your systems rely on R22 refrigerant, then in the future, it could become very expensive to maintain these older services. Older R22 systems will become obsolete by 2020 and can no longer be repaired if that repair requires adding any new refrigerant. Except for correcting simple electrical issues, these older systems will be beyond help.

What Can I Do To Address This?

For those people or businesses that cannot afford to replace or retrofit their HVAC systems, there are alternative refrigerants out there that can stand in for the R22 refrigerant while you plan on your replacement. These alternatives include:

  • R410A
  • GENETRON AZ-20Ⓡ
  • SUVA 410AⓇ
  • ForaneⓇ 410A
  • PuronⓇ

Ultimately, it is more cost-effective in the long-term to replace your systems rather than make do with refrigerant alternatives. For recommendations of how to manage the R22 refrigerant phase-out and other services, contact A&G Piping today. We offer a complete range of commercial, industrial, and construction services.