The Looming R-22 Refrigerant Cutoff
According to the EPA 2015-2019 R-22 phase down ruling a reduction of 57% in R-22 consumption allowances are scheduled to take effect by the end of 2015 and a zero consumption by the end of 2019.
On January 1, 2020 it will be illegal to manufacture or import virgin R-22.
The EPA has released its final ruling on the phase out of R-22 a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant. According to the Clean Air Act the EPA is required to phase out R-22 refrigerant by 2020. This final ruling keeps the United States in compliance with the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The ruling limits the production of R-22 to just 22 million pounds in 2015 and continues to decrease allowable production amounts until a cutoff date of January 1st 2020. This is a 29 million pound production decrease in just one year (2014 to 2015). Though the cut off date is January 1st 2020 the production decrease structure leads us to believe that R-22 will not be obtainable at reasonable prices if at all long before that time. The demand will be so high compared to supply within just a few short years that it would not be feasible to charge R-22 systems with refrigerant.
As always we strive to keep our refrigerant prices fair for all of our valued customers. We do however still need to stress the importance of what the EPA final ruling means and how it effects us all. R-22 is going away whether we like it or not and on its way out R-22 refrigerant prices are going to climb steeply until ultimately becoming unavailable. Thankfully replacement air conditioning systems that utilize the new R-410A refrigerant are all ready on the market.
R-410A refrigerant systems will be replacing the now old R-22 systems for the foreseeable future. This refrigerant operates in much the same way as R-22 but without the ozone depleting compound. This new refrigerant can not be put into existing R-22 systems and does require that the system be replaced.
When contemplating possible equipment replacement options buyers should be wary when confronted with offers from companies to replace only the air conditioning condenser and coil or worse yet just the air conditioning condenser without replacing the furnace/air handler unit. Today’s air conditioning equipment is complex and designed as a system: furnace, air conditioning condenser and coil all working together to provide optimal performance and efficiency. When only certain components are replaced and older components left in place the system is mismatched. A mismatched system can lead to increased operating cost, increased breakdowns and decreased comfort. The lower price tag of a mismatched pieced together air conditioning system may be luring but keep in mind this is not a good solution for long term reliability and system efficiency. We believe in doing what is right for the customer by only presenting them with options on matched equipment. Our team of experts can discuss with you what options are available on a R-410A refrigerant matched systems to help make the transition away from R-22 an easy one. As always there is never a fee for new system estimates.
If you have any questions about switching to a new R-410A system we will be glad to help you (702) 886-2511 or you can email us through our contact page
ACHR News has posted an in depth article further detailing the r-22 refrigerant phase out