HCFC-22 Phaseout: What You Should Do

You may already have heard on the news about the EPA phasing out ozone-depleting refrigerants. One of these is HCFC-22, also called R-22. If your home is equipped with an HVAC system that uses this refrigerant, we’ll discuss what your options are.


What Is HCFC-22?

Refrigerants are fluids or gases used in HVAC systems to generate cold (or hot, if you have a reverse cycle HVAC system) air. Certain refrigerants like HCFC-22 have been found to contribute to ozone depletion and continued use could cause irreversible damage to the ozone layer. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 have since initiated a gradual phase-out plan for such ozone-damaging substances. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other substances in the same category have been successfully banned as of 2005.

HCFC-22 has been found to be one of the hydrochlorofluorocarbons with the highest depletion potential in its category. Unfortunately, many of today’s air conditioners and refrigerators still use HCFC-22. As of 2003, the EPA has already implemented plans to gradually phase out equipment that use HCFCs, which is expected to meet 99.5% reduction by 2020 prior to a 100% elimination by 2030.

How Do I Know Which Refrigerant I Have?

Your HVAC and refrigeration systems should have a label on the back indicating the kind of refrigerant it uses. The manufacturing year can also clue you in—if it’s manufactured before 1996, it definitely has HCFC-22. If it’s manufactured between 1996 and 2009, it could either have HCFC-22 or the ozone-friendly alternative HFC-410A, also called R-410A. All refrigerant-based equipment manufactured after January 1, 2010 are equipped with HFC-410A.

Purer Air With Anderson Air Corps

If you’re looking for HVAC contractors, call Anderson Air Corps today at (505) 855-9028 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve Albuquerque and the surrounding areas.