The phase-out of R22 refrigerant for AC units is a result of its harmful impact on the ozone layer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the production and import of R22 starting January 1, 2020. The phase-out is due to its ozone-depleting properties. R22, also known as freon, is a chemical used in air conditioners and heat pumps to cool homes but has been identified as a Class II Ozone-Depleting substance, leading to its phase-out. 


Reasons for the Phase-Out of R22 Refrigerant:

Environmental Impact

R22 is a known ozone-depleting substance and contributes to global warming, necessitating its phase-out to reduce environmental har

Regulatory Mandate

The EPA classified R22 as an ozone-depleting substance, necessitating its phase-out to reduce harmful emissions.

Transition to Safer Alternatives

The ban aims to shift towards more environmentally friendly refrigerants like R410A, which do not harm the ozone layer.


Implications for Homeowners:

Repair Costs

Homeowners with R22 systems may face rising repair costs due to limited supply and increasing prices of R22 refrigerant. As of 2023, the price of R22 refrigerant for customers in the U.S. was reported up to $150 per pound, meaning a refill or recharge would cost between $200-$500+.

Replacement Necessity

As R22 becomes unavailable, homeowners will need to upgrade their systems to newer models using alternative refrigerants like R410A for long-term efficiency and compliance with regulations.


Replacement Options:

Upgrade to Alternative Refrigerants

Units made after 2010 can use alternative refrigerants like R410A, R134A, R407C, and R407A as effective replacements for R22 without ozone-depleting features.

System Replacement

Depending on the age of the unit, it’s more cost-effective to replace the entire unit than using an alternative refrigerant.

Professional Assistance

An HVAC professional can help you decide the best solution for your home, whether you need a full AC replacement or can switch out to an alternative refrigerant


The discontinuation of R22 refrigerant for AC units is a result of environmental concerns and regulatory mandates. By 2030 the EPA will no longer allow for the use of stockpiled or recycled R22 refrigerant. Homeowners with R22 systems should begin the transition by considering system upgrades to newer models using environmentally friendly alternatives like R410A. 


Contact us today and one of our Professional HVAC Technicians will be happy to discuss your options for upgrading your system.

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