The “industry standard” refrigerant of yore, R-22 (also known as Freon) is being phased out worldwide due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer.
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, R22 refrigerant will become illegal in the United States on January 1, 2020. After that R22 refrigerant phase out date, R22 refrigerant can no longer be manufactured or imported into the US.
After that date, it will become difficult (if even possible) and expensive to acquire R-22.
So, for example, if you have been “getting by” with an older system that leaks refrigerant by periodically adding R-22, it’s going to become cost prohibitive if not impossible.
This leaves homeowners (with older systems using R-22) with 3 basic choices:
- Do nothing until your system needs an expensive repair.
- Retrofit (or convert) your old R22 equipment to use an existing refrigerant.
- Replace your system proactively.
We always weigh the repair vs replace question whenever a major system issue comes up. We advocate for planning now for replacement if you have such an older system as this decision is inevitability. The systems being installed today are much more energy efficient and tend to come with more generous warranties than years past.
We’ll talk more about that next time….