EPA Facts

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Refrigerant Phase Out

According to the E.P.A., air conditioning and heating systems are responsible for nearly 50% of all energy used in the United States and emit nearly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. Since the 1990s the E.P.A has been increasing the restrictions on the types of refrigerant used in air conditioning systems. R-22, most commonly referred to by its brand name “Freon”, was the primary refrigerant used in HVAC systems from the 1990s to the 2000s, when R-410a was introduced.  R-22 is an ozone-depleting CFC whereas R-410a is a more environmentally friendly HCFC.

On January 1st, 2010 the E.P.A. issued the allocation rule which outlawed the manufacturing of equipment charged with R-22 refrigerant. This rule also reduced the amount of R-22 refrigerant that can be manufactured or imported for repairing existing air conditioners. By the year 2020, R-22 will only be available to purchase through companies that have stockpiled or recycled refrigerant. On January 1, 2030, remaining R-22 production will be banned.

What Does This Mean for Me?

The E.P.A. has increased these restrictions and reduced the amount of R-22 that can be manufactured, which means that the cost of R-22 has been rising drastically and will only continue to rise. If you have an R-22 system, consider your next large repair carefully. Ask your technician about the cost to repair versus the cost to replace with a system containing R-410a, the new refrigerant approved by the E.P.A. If you are in need of advice or would like a bid to replace your old air conditioning system, contact us today

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