The cooling industry has been under mandates since the early 1990s to make air conditioning products more environmentally-friendly. One of the biggest aspects of these mandates is phasing out the use of R-22 refrigerant, most often known by its brand name Freon. Since discovering that Freon emits a great deal of greenhouse gases, changes have been underway to permanently phase-out the chemical. While it is still currently available, it will no longer be available after January 1, 2020.
What Is the Phase-Out?
The phase-out process began with creating far more environmentally friendly refrigerant and having manufacturers use these refrigerants in their air conditioning products. In 2010, the producers of Freon could only make it for repairs; air conditioning systems could no longer be manufactured with R-22 refrigerant. This significantly reduced the amount of available R-22. If you have an AC system that uses R-22, and you’ve needed a refrigerant charge in the last 5 years, you probably noticed that the price of the Freon was expensive—this is one of the results of the phase-out.
However, it is the last date that you want to keep in mind, because it is a final date: January 1, 2020. This is when all production of R-22 is mandated to stop completely, officially discontinuing the product. You may be thinking that you will just put one of the other types of refrigerant in your system; unfortunately, air conditioners don’t work this way. Air conditioners need to work with the refrigerant with which they were manufactured, so simply changing refrigerants isn’t a possibility; you’ll need to replace your AC system.
If you are concerned about the phase-out because your current AC system uses R-22 refrigerant, the cooling experts at D’Spain Sales & Service, Inc., are here to help. Just give us a call and we’ll provide you with recommendations on how to proceed.