Goodbye, Freon: What the R22 Refrigerant Phase-Out Means for Your Summer Comfort - Comfort Control

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Goodbye, Freon: What the R22 Refrigerant Phase-Out Means for Your Summer Comfort

Goodbye, Freon: What the R22 Refrigerant Phase-Out Means for Your Summer Comfort

Bo Rogers has been in the heating and cooling industry for 21 years, starting in 2001 as a residential HVAC installer for Peachtree Service Experts in Atlanta, GA. Bo caught on quickly and after being promoted as a residential service technician he found his true calling as a residential comfort advisor, earning hundreds of satisfied customers and winning several Lennox & Amana Sales Awards. In 2016 Bo and his family moved to the Ashland area to be closer to family and he has spent the last 4 years as the area’s leading Comfort Advisor with Comfort Control. Bo’s personal mantra is to treat every customer like he would expect his family to be treated and he only recommends products and services a customer actually needs.

If your heating or cooling system is more than ten years old, there’s a good chance the refrigerant that it uses is now illegal.

What’s that, you say? As of January 1, 2020, production and import of R22 refrigerant (also known as Freon) is illegal in the United States. You can still use your air conditioner or heat pump system that uses R22, but if your A/C or heat pump system needs a repair that involves refrigerant, you may have to decide between a hefty refrigerant bill and a system replacement.

What’s the Big Deal about R22 Refrigerant? 

R22 refrigerant is an ozone-depleting substance (ODS). These are chemicals that destroy the earth’s protective ozone layer. The ozone layer absorbs harmful ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun. A diminished ozone layer means more skin cancer, cataracts, and weakened immune systems, so it’s in all of our best interests to reduce the amount of ODS’s in our environments.

Just over a decade ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented a ban on the production and import of R22, except for continuing servicing needs of existing equipment. The EPA also banned the manufacture and installation of new R22 A/C or heat pump systems. As a result, manufacturers of A/C and heat pump equipment redesigned their systems to accommodate R410A, a chlorine-free refrigerant.

Is R22 Refrigerant in My Cooling System?

If your A/C or heat pump was built and installed before January 1, 2010, there’s a good chance that it uses R22 refrigerant. If it was built and installed after January 1, 2010, it’s most likely that your system is using the chlorine-free refrigerant. Your equipment may have a label that identifies the type of refrigerant used, but it’s a good idea to ask your licensed professional at Comfort Control for confirmation. 

What Is Refrigerant, Anyway?

Refrigerant is the fluid that flows inside of your heating or cooling system to change the temperature of the air. Under pressure—with the help of your system’s compressor, condenser and evaporator—the refrigerant transforms physically between liquid and gas states. This physical change makes the substance either hot or cold. As its pressure changes, it readily absorbs or gives off heat to the air passing over the coils, changing the temperature of that air. Eventually, this comfortable air makes its way to the rooms in your home.

What If My Heating or Cooling System Uses R22?

The ban doesn’t require you to replace a functioning, R22 refrigerant A/C or heat pump system. However, since R22 freon was banned for production in the entire industry as of January 1, 2020, you may need to evaluate your options if your air conditioning or heat pump system fails or requires emergency repairs.

You really have two options: repair or replace.


Because R22 is no longer in production, the refrigerant is in increasingly short supply, which may make it very expensive. 

"While R22 remains available for servicing equipment made before 2010, it is important to know that supplies of R22 will become more limited and the price of this refrigerant may increase," says the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.

With a limited supply, it might cost you the same to repair an old unit as it would for a down payment on a new system. Air conditioners and heat pumps are not designed to consume refrigerant; refrigerant simply flows through a continuous series of coils. If your Comfort Control technician suspects a leak, they should locate and repair the refrigerant leak instead of simply "topping off" a leaking system.


If your system is on its last leg and you were just hoping to nurse it through one more season, you may want to consider replacing your system now instead of investing more money into your current equipment. 

Since you know the system is going to break down eventually, replacing the system now allows you to purchase a new heating or cooling system on your schedule, without the urgency of living in a hot or cold house. It also gives you the time to evaluate energy efficiencies, product reviews and potential costs of the latest replacements available. Most likely, there are new features and benefits available today that weren’t available when your current system was installed.

If paying for a new system is a concern, Comfort Control offers affordable financing options with low monthly payments. If you qualify, financing may help you fit a new comfort system into your budget without breaking the bank.

The expert team at Comfort Control can provide the routine maintenance needed to help you know what the best move is for your heating or cooling system, plus, professional maintenance helps your heating and cooling system operate at its designed efficiency level. It also gives you the opportunity to address small, fixable issues before they may become expensive problems.

Be sure to stay cool this summer and reach out to Comfort Control today to set up your maintenance visit.

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Ashland, OH 44805
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