According to refrigerant experts, there is abundant supply of R-22 available for future use.
- Phaseout of R-22 is only for virgin production and importation
- Also known as Chlorodifluoromethane, Freon, or HCFC-22
- Popular refrigerant most commonly used in residential and commercial AC systems
- R-22 will remain widely available, affordable, and perfectly legal
As of January 1st 2020, it will no longer be permitted to produce or import virgin R-22 in the United States. After January 1, 2020 only recycled, AHRI-700 certified reclaimed product or virgin R-22 sold from existing Stockpiles can be used for servicing existing equipment.
Only EPA 608 Certified Technicians may purchase AHRI-700 certified reclaim or virgin R-22 from stockpiles. Wholesalers are required to document purchases and are legally responsible to sell only to purchasers who fit the EPA allowed category requirements. R-22 will be available and legal to use in existing systems now and in the future.
Some customers are hearing poorly reported news stories about the R-22 phaseout and contact their local HVAC contractor for more information. If contractors are not well informed, or looking to up-sell their customers on a new system, the homeowner or resident could be on the hook for a pricy, unnecessary upgrade.
Contractors should practice full disclosure when talking about their customer’s options when it comes to systems that use R-22. Many customers are still running R-22 systems, but many of those systems are 10 years old or more, nearing the end of their lifecycle making replacing the system an option and most homeowners aren’t aware of the refrigerant they are using or the fact that it will no longer be imported, making it possible for some contractors to stretch the truth about the legality surrounding R-22.
What to Tell Customers:
R-22 remains easy to obtain through reclamation and cost has remained the same if not slightly lowered and as long as there are no serious issues with a system, there is no need to replace it. There is no need for customers to proactively replace their R-22 systems as long as they are running well and are satisfied with their performance as there is a stockpile of R-22 available, plus a robust reclaimed R-22 supply pipeline.
Reclaimed refrigerants are used refrigerants cleaned by means of filtration, distillation, separation, or other mechanical processes. Both reclaimed and newly produced refrigerants must meet the same AHRI-700 standards.
The EPA requires all technicians be certified to “maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere.”
Plenty of Supply:
The refrigerant industry has a stockpile of R-22 available in addition to substantial reclaimed R-22 sources, together these are more than enough to meet the demands for R-22 for the coming decades.
It is necessary to make sure every pound of R-22 is recovered and sent to an EPA-certified reclamation facility for processing back to AHRI-700 specifications according to Taylor Ferranti, vice president of refrigerant SBU at A-Gas US Inc.
Learn the Truth:
The myth that R-22 wont be available or affordable is just that, a myth, and the biggest challenge when it comes to the importance of reclaim in sustaining the R-22 market for years to come and continued growth of the reclaim market.