In the last months of this decade, the HVAC industry awaits a milestone of its own. When Jan. 1, 2020 arrives, it’ll also usher in the complete ban on the manufacturing and importation of R-22 refrigerant in the United States. Read on to find out what this means for your air conditioner or any other appliance that relies on R-22.

Why Is it Happening?

Prior to 2010, R-22 was commonly used in air conditioners and heat pump systems. The refrigerant’s harmful impact on the ozone layer is what pushed the Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations around the world to phase out its use, starting with a ban on new R-22-based HVAC systems on Jan. 1, 2010. HVAC systems built after that date use R-410A and a variety of other chlorine-free refrigerants.

How Does It Affect Your HVAC System?

If you own an HVAC system that relies on R-22 refrigerant, you’ll still be able to run it as-is. However, you’ll have a much harder time having your current unit repaired if it loses refrigerant. Repairs will also become increasingly cost-prohibitive due to dwindling R-22 supplies and the scramble to reclaim used refrigerant from older HVAC equipment.

What Should You Do?

If you still own an HVAC system that uses R-22 refrigerant, you have a few options for handling the upcoming phaseout:

  • Replacement – The best way to prepare for the upcoming phaseout is by replacing the older less efficient system and investing in a new one that uses the latest in refrigerants. You’ll also have a reliable HVAC system you can trust for years to come.
  • Conversion – You can convert your existing HVAC system to work with other refrigerants. However, extensive modifications are often needed for a successful conversion, and your HVAC system’s performance may be drastically different than before.

The professionals at Jackson & Sons can help guide you through the R-22 refrigerant phaseout.