What you need to know when servicing or replacing an air conditioner in your home.
R-22 is an HCFC refrigerant that is often used in air conditioning equipment. Unfortunately, HCFCs deplete the Earth's protective ozone layer. The U.S. Government began phasing out R-22 refriterant in 2010, with a long term plan to complete ban production and importing of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b by 2020. The intent is that after 2020, the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities of R-22. This lengthy phaseout was provided by the by EPA in order to give homeowners time to consider and plan for the probable substantial rise in cost of R-22 refrigerant and possible lack of supply.
* You may continue to have your equipment that contains R-22 serviced.
* Technicians servicing R-22 systems must have EPA Section 608 certification.
*The most important thing you can do is to maintain your system properly. Appropriate servicing minimizes potential environmental damage and maintenance costs.
*Having service technicians locate and repair leaks, instead of "topping off" leaking systems helps to protect the ozone layer. This also saves your money by optimizing the performance of your existing equipment.
*It is illegal to intentionally release any refrigerant when making repairs. Technicians must use refrigerant recovery equipment during service.
Timeline of the Phaseout of R-22 and R142B
January 1, 2010: Ban on production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b except for continuing servicing needs of existing equipment.
January 1, 2015: Ban on sale and use of all HCFCs except for certain uses, including servicng needs of refrigeration equipment.
January 1, 2020: Ban on remaining production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC- 142b.
After 2020, the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities.