Let’s cut right to it! According to the EPA, new production and import of most HCFCs (R22 Refrigerant) will be phased out by January 1, 2020.
So why is R22 refrigerant being phased out?
R22 has played a big role in damaging the Ozone. The phase out of R22 would repair the ozone layer of the atmosphere and help prevent the diseases like skin cancer and cataract caused by the UV radiations of the sun.
What does this mean for consumers that have AC equipment installed that requires R22?
Come January 1, 2020 it will be illegal to produce R22 refrigerant. Only recycled and reclaimed supplies will be available for purchase. This will surely cause the price of R22 to rise come 2020 and significantly rise in the coming years. Just for perspective, newer environmentally friendly R410A Freon currently averages around half the cost of R22 Freon for install!
So, you might be thinking what we recommend for consumers with systems that require R22?
First off if you are not on a yearly service plan, get on one! Leaky systems are detrimental to our Ozone and as you have just learned they will become much more expensive to service. Stay leak free! Secondly, look into replacing your AC equipment with a more efficient and environmentally friendly system. Today's air conditioners are not only increasingly ozone-friendly, but also energy efficient. ENERGY STAR® EXIT products can help save homeowners money on their heating and cooling bills every year.