Short #65 – Is R22 Becoming Illegal
In this short podcast, Bryan discusses the recent ads and news articles claiming that homeowners are in trouble and that R22 is becoming illegal.
The R22 phaseout has been on the agenda for a long time and will finally come into effect in 2020. HCFCs have ozone-depleting potential, and it is time to look at more eco-friendly alternatives, such as R410A and R407A. The phaseout has affected prices and will cease virgin refrigerant production. However, after the phaseout period begins, R22 will NOT become illegal; you will still be able to find it in supply houses for a while.
Nevertheless, you will only have access to recovered stock, and the costs may go up as the supply depletes. It is also NOT illegal to recharge systems with R22 as long as the refrigerant charge is under 50 pounds. You also still cannot vent or import R22. Overall, the AHJ may make different rules, but the EPA is not making the refrigerant illegal.
Customers need not worry about replacing their air conditioner. There may be benefits to replacing an air conditioner, such as efficiency gains. However, there is no legal reason for customers to worry about replacing their systems. As HVAC technicians, we should focus on repairing leaks on R22 systems for customers who do not want to replace their systems. The most important thing to do is be honest with the customer; you can ease their worries about the legality of their system. However, you can still be honest about the environmental impact if the customer expresses concern about that.
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