The R-22 Phase Out By 2020 And What This Means For You
R-22 the refrigerant that has been in use for decades is being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. The phase-out process started back in 2010 and is being done until 2020 when the use of R 22 will be completely illegal.
R 22 is a hydrofluorocarbon, HCFC and it’s release into the atmosphere causes depletion of the phone layer. As is well known the ozone layer is essential to protecting the earth from harmful radiation. Depletion of the ozone also causes climate change.
The Phasing Out Process
The process of Phasing out R 22 is systematic but lengthy to give people time to change to new systems that do not use this Refrigerant. Here is how the process is being carried out;
2010 – January 2010 saw the ban on production, importation,and use of R 22 and 142b except for servicing needs of existing systems that use those HCFCs.
2015 – January first, 2015 saw a ban on production, use and importation of all HCFCs in the United States to protect the environment.
2020 – Production of HCFC will be stopped by January of 2020,and any servicing needs will be met using only recycled,andstock piled R 22.
What Does This Mean For You?
One of the effects of this change is high R22 prices. Due to the ban on production and how people can access R22 the prices of the product are on the rise. R-22 can now only be purchasedbe licensed technicians making it hard to get by homeowners which raises the price.
For those people with systems that use R22 there are a few things that can be done:
- Change The System – The first thing one can do is change the system to a newer more energy efficient system. Systems manufactured after 2010 will not use R22,and most of them are more energy efficient than old systems. The efficiency of the system is given by the SEER ratio. The higher the ratio,the more efficient the system.
- Use Recycled Bluon Energy- r22 .The other option is just to continue using recycled R22 until it is completely unavailable.
- Retrofit The System – The other option is to retrofit the system so that it can be used with the other approved refrigerants in the market. This can save on the costs of installing new systems,but it can also nullify any warranties that you may have on the system.
During servicing of the systems that use R22, it is illegal for the technicians to intentionally release the R22 to the atmosphere. They should use equipment to harvest the R22 so it can be reused.
What Alternatives Are There?
The most common alternative to R22 is R-410A which is available in many different trade names. However, with this refrigerant you will have to entirely change your system. There are others also that will allow retrofitting of your existing system to use a different refrigerant that will not deplete the ozone.
Most of these new alternatives are more efficient than R22 giving you massive savings on energy expenditure.