If you’ve ever had your air conditioner repaired or inspected, chances are you’ve heard something about R22 refrigerant, also known as freon, and how it’s now government-mandated to have R22 phased out. For those of us wondering if this is true or just a rumor, it’s firmly the former – in fact, the formal announcement by the EPA about phasing out the refrigerant was made more than 25 years ago, with a hard deadline of 2020.
Now you may be wondering: what’s the deal with R22 refrigerant? Why is it being phased out? And more importantly, how is this going to affect your air conditioner? Well, allow us to explain, here at Taylor Refrigeration and Air Conditioning we’ve developed a short guide that should answer your questions.
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Without getting too much into the technical side of things, refrigerant is a substance used by your air conditioner to create cool air. Think of it less as fuel and more of brake fluid - without it, your air conditioner can’t work. Also, like brake fluid, it doesn’t need to be refilled constantly – your air conditioner just keeps pumping it in a loop whenever it’s operating. It does, however, need to be refreshed every now and then.
R22, as with all refrigerants, is classified as hydrochlorofluorocarbon, or HCFC. HCFCs are classified as harmful threats to the environment, specifically as a contributing factor to the thinning of the ozone layer – which in turn results in global warming.
As such the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to phase out R22 as a refrigerant, in accordance with the Clean Air Act. The production of air conditioners that use R22 has been banned as well, with the ban officially rolled out last 2010.
If your air conditioner was installed on or before 2010, there’s a good chance that it uses R22 refrigerant. But if you’re not entirely sure, then we here at Taylor Refrigeration and Air Conditioning are more than ready to help you figure it out and find solutions if your air conditioner does use the banned refrigerant.
We also offer services beyond air conditioning, from heating, ductwork, and air purification. Residents of St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville as well as most areas in Northeast Florida can reach us at 904-289-2355 or through our contact page for a free estimate.