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What is R-22?

If you have had an air-conditioner installed before 2010 and are not sure what R-22 is then it’s probably time you find out. R-22 refrigerant is a chemical that keeps the air coming from your air-conditioning system cool. Majority of air-conditioning units older than ten years have an AC refrigerant called R-22 that is commonly referred to as Freon. Ambrose Air Inc. is a prominent Orlando, Florida company that specializes in first-class commercial refrigerator repair service.

Why is R-22 bad?

Currently, the world has recognized and decided that R-22 refrigerant was destroying the Earth’s ozone layer. R-22 was banned because, as a gas, it works its way to the upper atmosphere where it breaks apart ozone and converts it into carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that causes a lot of problems, not just to the environment as a whole, but specifically to agriculture and farms.

As a gas, it reflects income solar radiation to earth causing the area to warm up. When mixed with water (rain) it becomes carbonic acid that damages plants by burning their leaves. Furthermore, as an air pollutant, carbon dioxide is deadly to humans in enough doses. However, in smaller doses, it leads to asthma and respiratory disease.

Timeline of the Phase Out

The government declared all new air-conditioners would be R-22 free by 2010. As a chemical, R-22 is not to be used after January 1st, 2020. Therefore, for people who have an HVAC or air conditioner that needs to be replaced, you will have to purchase one that contains R410A refrigerant. R410A is an environmentally friendly chemical which works in the same capacity as R-22, but without damaging the ozone layer.

If you do have an older AC unit with R-22 in it, you can still have it serviced through the end of 2019. After January 1st, 2020, air conditioners that contain R-22 will not be able to be recharged. R-22 production and import will be continually reduced by law until 2020 until it’s finally phased out completely. Only recycled R-22 refrigerant will be available to service existing air conditioners after 2020.

How it Affects Consumers

The phasing out of R-22 has a substantial effect on consumers. A vast amount of appliances and equipment in houses, apartments, businesses, and industrial worksites use R-22. A lot of HVAC units such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioning systems in cars and trucks, dehumidifiers, and air-to-air and ground-source heat pumps contain R-22.

People who use this kind of equipment or appliances that generate large amounts of this chemical will be required to repair any coolant leaks within a certain time frame, and in other cases have leak detectors installed. Consumers can assume the prices of R-22 are going to increase due to the concept of supply and demand. As less R-22 is produced, the more expensive it will become until consumers replace their appliances all together which will be mandatory over the next few years.

The Future of Refrigerants

The newest coolant R410A is much safer for the environment and currently more expensive than R-22 since it’s not widely used and as available. On the other hand, this will change over time as the course of phasing out R-22 continues. As the supply and demand of R410A evens out, the cost will as well. Also, with the R410A being better for the environment, it’s also becoming known that appliances that have R410A coolant tend to have fewer vibrations, which means your products don’t break down as often.