How Do You Know If the R-22 Report Affects You? Published on June 24, 2014 R-22 is a chemical refrigerant used in most major air conditioning systems. For over 40 years R-22 was the refrigerant of choice in the Heating and Air Conditioning industry. However, studies have found that R-22 is known to deplete the ozone layer that protects the Earth from harmful solar radiation. As a result of these findings, R-22 is now being phased out of use in the United States. Keep reading to find out more about the phaseout of R-22 and how it could affect you. How Is R-22 Being Phased Out? R-22 has not been used in the production of new air conditioning systems in the U.S. since 2010. However, R-22 can still be manufactured or imported by HVAC companies to maintain or repair existing equipment. By the year 2020 however, R-22 is unable to be imported or manufactured at all in the U.S. At that point, the existing supply of R-22 will come from recycled refrigerant collected from old air conditioners. Does Your HVAC System Use R-22? If you have an air conditioner that was manufactured before 2010, your AC will most likely have R-22. However, if you acquired your air conditioner after January 1, 2010, then your air conditioner would most likely not have R22. You can check the type of refrigerant your air conditioner uses by inspecting the appliance’s nameplate. This nameplate is often found on the outdoor condenser of your central air conditioning system. Alternatively, you can check your user’s manual or contact your local Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) service company. What Does This Mean for Homeowners? If you own an older appliance that uses R-22 refrigerant, you don’t need to stop using it or replace your system immediately. However, limited supplies of R-22 have driven the cost of this refrigerant up. The rise in the price of R-22 means that since 2010, the cost of repairing older HVAC equipment has also been on the rise. As R-22 supplies continue to shrink, the cost of making repairs to older appliances will only go up. What Can You Do? For now, repairs to your current HVAC system can be made using new R-22. While you can choose to replace the R-22 in your current system with an alternative more environmentally friendly refrigerant, this solution is not ideal. Rather than switching refrigerants, HVAC professionals recommend upgrading your entire Air Conditioning system. When you do replace your air conditioning system with a newer one, you will need to replace both the indoor coil and outdoor unit, as well as clean and flush the refrigerant lines that connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit, to ensure your new system works properly.