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The Final Days of R22 (and How They Impact You)

With the cooling season now upon us we are turning on our air conditioners for the first time.  Those with older AC units may find that they are in need of service.  If that service requires a charge of R22 refrigerant (Freon), the homeowner may find it difficult and costly to repair the old unit.  Here’s why.

R-22 Phase OutThe Phase Out is Nearly Complete
The US Environmental Protection Agency has been phasing out the use of R22 for the past decade due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer.  There have been no new AC units manufactured that use R22 since January 1, 2010 and as of January 1, 2020 manufacturing or importing R22 refrigerant is illegal in the United States, although the use of reclaimed R22 is still legal.

The New R22 is R410a
R22 has been replaced by R410a refrigerant which provides a higher safety rating and an ozone depletion rating of zero.  It has also performed slightly better in energy-efficiency tests than R22.  All air conditioners built since January 2010 use R410a, and many built between 2000 and 2010 use R410a.

As a result of this EPA phase out it will become much more difficult to get R22. This will make repairing older R22 systems very expensive when the repair requires adding refrigerant to the system. Except for some simple electrical issues, many types of emergency repairs do require recharging the refrigerant.

new Bryant ACWhat do I do if my air conditioner uses R22?
For homeowners with older HVAC equipment that still uses R22 your options are limited:

  1. Buy an upgraded, more environmentally-friendly system that uses R410a.

  2. Retrofit your current AC system to help make it compatible with an approved refrigerant.

  3. Use recycled R22 refrigerant until it is no longer available.

All of these options can be expensive.  Retrofitting your old AC to use R410a requires replacing several parts and will normally void the manufacturer’s warranty.  Using recycled R22 will become more and more expensive as the availability of this product decreases.

At some point, your AC will quit running and it will need to be replaced, and only R410a units will be available to buy.

Not a Requirement
No one is requiring a homeowner to replace their older air conditioner. For most it will come down to economics.  When the cost and time involved with making repairs and replacing R22 become too great, it will become more economical to install a new AC unit.

Meckos Super AC Tune Up Special Let Mecko’s Help
Take advantage of Mecko’s AC Super Tune-Up Special. We’ll perform our 11-Point inspection of your air conditioning system for $79.00.  We’ll give you an honest assessment of your air conditioner and whether or not it is time to replace it.

To schedule an appointment online go to Service Request or call us at 765-447-7555.


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Contact Info

  • 765-447-7555 phone
  • 765-448-2988 fax
  • P.O. Box 4982
  • Lafayette, IN
  • 47903

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Contact Info

  • 765-447-7555 phone
  • 765-448-2988 fax
  • P.O. Box 4982
  • Lafayette, IN
  • 47903