We Do R22

December 4, 2022
HVAC Maintenance in Kansas City, MO

What you should know about R22

While the entire HVAC industry knows R22 is being phased out and no longer being produced, most
homeowners don’t become aware of that fact until their Air Conditioner or Heat Pump starts having
issues. Most people don’t even know what refrigerant is used in their system or what it does. In its
simplest terms, refrigerant is the medium by which heat is moved. There are different types of
refrigerants. R22 was the most popular form for residential air conditioners until 2010 when it was
federally mandated that equipment could no longer be produced with R22. At that point, it was
switched to R410A, and the R22 Phase out began.

Phasing out R22

In reality, the phase-out was an agreement made in 1995 between countries to combat climate
change. The goal was to move to refrigerants that contained HCFC’s, which studies have determined
to be less harmful to the environment than CFC’s. Restrictions on the production of R22 began in
2016, and as of January 1 st 2020 R22 and equipment using it could longer be produced. There in lies
the key, it cannot be produced, but it can still be used.

Many contractors have started telling folks that R22 is illegal, but it is not. Any R22 that has been
produced, reclaimed, or recycled can be purchased by a licensed contractor and sold to the public.
So, you are not out of luck. Limitations of supply, supply chain issues with bottle manufacturers, and
inflation have all caused a dramatic spike in the cost of this refrigerant, and actually, all refrigerants.
Since it is illegal to release refrigerants, R22 is recovered from outdated systems being replaced. It is
then cleaned and recycled to be used in working legacy equipment. It is a given that as the supply of
R22 dwindles, prices will continue to rise to a level that is unsustainable. So, while you do not have
to get rid of your R22 system immediately, its replacement is inevitable. A system that needs added
refrigerant is leaking that refrigerant somewhere. Your system will need to be continually recharged
until it is repaired or replaced. The problem with repairing an R22 system is that it is expensive and
only delays the inevitable replacement.

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