Phaseout of R22 Refrigerant

R22 refrigerant has been around since 1935. It was used as the primary refrigerant in HVAC systems for many years. Other refrigerants have come and gone since R22 became available, but this is the main one that has stuck in mainstream HVAC use. In 1991, however, a new refrigerant was created that is much more efficient to use.

In 1991, R410A refrigerant was invented. It absorbs and releases heat in a more efficient manner, and in 1996 it was first used in Carrier branded HVAC equipment and quickly moved to the other brands. From 1996 to 2010 both forms of refrigerant were manufactured. Beginning in January of 2010, R22 was no longer able to be manufactured, and the phasing out process had officially begun. No new R22 refrigerant has been made and that has driven the cost up tremendously. Now, the only refrigerant that is available has been recycled and is being reused.

As of January 1, 2020, all uses of R22 refrigerant will become outlawed by the federal government. It has been found to be harmful to the environment by depleting the ozone layer. This has led to more UV rays being pushed through to the Earth’s surface and has been a contributing factor of global climate change. R22 causing damage to the Earth’s atmosphere is why we will not work with R22 any longer, and in fact, there are legal ramifications if steps aren’t taken to work with it properly.

Polestar chooses to abide by the laws and have ethical business practices. Our goal is to keep the environment as clean as possible. However, some contractors will still work with R22. If your HVAC system is low on refrigerant then there is a leak. Refrigerant does not leave your HVAC system unless there is a leak somewhere along the path. Unless that leak is fixed we are held legally responsible for the R22 being released back into the air. Willfully letting R22 out into the atmosphere can result in the service company, the customer, or both parties receiving fines. This is why by 2020 all R22 HVAC systems must be replaced. All parts, and the refrigerant will be obsolete. So, we recommend beginning to plan and budget for a new HVAC system if yours runs on R22 currently.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and we hope this answered any questions you had about R22 and R410A. If you need further information, please feel free to contact us at 913-432-3342 or visit www.polestarplumbing.com!