sand timer going; on the right is a mini glass globe

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of phasing out R-22 refrigerant in the United States by 2020. R-22 is one of the most commonly used refrigerants on the market today. If your system depends on R-22 refrigerant, here’s what you need to know to be prepared by January 1, 2020.

You Can Still Use R-22 Equipment

Although you’ll still be able to keep using any equipment that contains R-22 after 2020, we recommend beginning to work toward a plan to replace that equipment or find an alternative to R-22. Once you run out of R-22, you’ll have a difficult time finding more.

There are a variety of alternative replacement refrigerants already on the market, including:

  • AZ-20 (410A)
  • 404A, AZ-50 (507)
  • 407C
  • 422D

If you plan to continue using R-22 in your equipment, you should consider a contingency plan for when R-22 has been phased out.

System Expansion

Although you can continue using existing R-22 systems, you cannot use new R-22 to increase the cooling capacity during a system expansion or replacement. That means you will either have to use reclaimed R-22 or an alternative refrigerant. If you’re planning to upgrade your existing HVAC infrastructure, we recommend choosing a system replacement that doesn’t depend on R-22 refrigerant.

Transition Now

We’re already several months into 2019, and 2020 will be here before you know it. This is the last year to prepare your HVAC systems for the phaseout. If an R-22 unit breaks after January 2020, you will be forced to replace it.

If a system component breaks down prior to 2020, you’ll have to choose whether to replace it or repair it. As we get closer to 2020, more companies are going to be making last-minute preparations for the R-22 phaseout.

That’s why we recommend preparing as soon as possible for a long-term HVAC solution that can set your infrastructure free from dependence on R-22. The longer you wait, the more downtime you’re likely to experience as a result of system failure.

Although upgrading or replacing existing components comes with higher up-front costs, you can be confident that your HVAC infrastructure will be prepared for years to come. At the same time, your HVAC system will be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Retrofitting Options

A retrofit can offer a short-term solution to give you time until you have the capital to invest in a complete system replacement. Although it doesn’t provide the same longevity as a system replacement, you’ll be able to get by with your existing infrastructure for a little bit longer while still being prepared for the R-22 phaseout.

Interested in learning more about your replacement or retrofit options prior to the R-22 phaseout on January 1, 2020? Contact the HVAC experts at React to start preparing your facility today.