R-22 Phaseouts And Your Home Air Conditioner: Common Myths Debunked

Posted on: 29 May 2020


The home air conditioning system relies on a chemical refrigerant that makes it possible to drastically reduce the temperature of the air as it is funneled through the system. While there have been several types of refrigerants used throughout the years, one of the most commonly used has been R-22. The abbreviation R-22 stands for difluoromonochloromethane and is sometimes also referred to as chlorodifluoromethane or HCFC-22.

Due to the fact that R-22 has been found to be damaging to the ozone layer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started the phaseout of this particular refrigerant as of 2020. This particular phaseout has led to quite a few homeowners calling up air conditioning services with a lot of false assumptions. Here are a few of the myths about the R-22 phaseout and the facts all homeowners need to know.

Myth: Having an AC that uses R-22 is now illegal. 

It is not illegal to have an air conditioner that still relies on R-22. Many worried homeowners have heard about the phaseout and assumed they would have to replace their system, but that is not the truth. The phaseout only means that the refrigerant can no longer be produced in this country and can no longer be imported to this country from others for use. Additionally, new AC systems cannot be produced that specifically and solely rely on R-22. 

Myth: If you keep your R-22 AC, you won't be able to get refrigerant added when there's a leak. 

You can still get your AC services if there is a refrigerant leak by working with a local air conditioning service. Technicians are allowed to use whatever reserves they have of the R-22 in stock until those stocks are depleted. Plus, there are refrigerants that can be used in place of R-22 in most systems. 

Myth: It is now extremely expensive to service an R-22-reliant AC. 

Having your R-22-reliant air conditioner serviced by a professional should be no more expensive than usual. You may see a slight uptick in the price if you have a system that can only be topped off with R-22 because the refrigerant is getting a little harder to find. However, the majority of service professionals will seek out a worthy replacement to help keep costs low if that is a possibility with your particular system. It is worth noting that a good AC system with no refrigerant leaks should never require a top-off, so getting the system checked by the pros regularly is really important.