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  • Writer's picturePresidential Ventilation

R22 "FREON" Refrigerant Phase Out

Do you have an old air conditioner or heat pump system installed prior to January 1, 2010? There is a chance that it still uses R22 “FREON” refrigerant.

If that’s the case, you should know that the government has been phasing out this refrigerant for awhile due to its harm to the environment. When this chemical is evaporated, it’s released into the stratosphere and damages the ozone layer. When our ozone layer becomes damaged, humans have less protection from the harmful UV rays from the sun.

Effective January 1, 2020, the government has put a stop to production and import of R22 therefore depleting the supply available. As supply decreases, it will become more difficult or nearly impossible, for manufacturers and dealers to have access to this supply. Due to this, only recycled R22 will be obtainable.

What is refrigerant?

Refrigerant is vital to your heat pump because it’s the fluid inside your system that allows for the transfer of heating and cooling (depending on season) throughout your home.

What does this mean for you?

If you have an old system that uses this type of refrigerant, this means repairs to your heat pump system are going to become much more costly as the cost of R22 has increased drastically. As supply diminishes, there is a chance that R22 will not be available and therefore we won’t be able to repair your unit as easily or economically.

How do I know what type of refrigerant my air conditioning or heat pump system uses?

R22 is also known as any of the following:

  • HCFC 22

  • Freon 22

  • Refrigerant 22

Check the name plate on your outdoor unit or indoor unit. If you cannot find this information there, then check your systems manual to determine if your system indicates any of the above names as the refrigerant. If you can’t find the manual, please reach out to us at any time. If you provide us with the model number and installation date, we’ll do our best to find out for you. If you haven’t had maintenance on your system in a while, perhaps now is the time to schedule a tune-up and we can have a look for you at that time.

What should I do if my heat pump uses R22 refrigerant?

OPTION 1 - Do nothing and wait for the inevitable breakdown of your unit

If you don’t have the money to replace your unit right now, this may be the best option for you, however you may want to start planning financially to upgrade your system. Typically, if systems are going to break, it’s going to be during extreme weather conditions and there may be many other homeowners needing to-do so at the same time. This is when HVAC businesses are the busiest and it may take more time than you’d like to get your unit repaired or replaced.

OPTION 2 - Retro-fit your old system to use a different refrigerant

Instead of replacing the entire system, we could change your indoor coil and outdoor unit to use a more environmentally friendly and readily available refrigerant. This repair/replacement is not covered under warranty and you should be aware that this option is not available for all systems, therefore check with your dealer.

OPTION 3 - Be proactive & shop for an upgraded system now

This option allows you to purchase a new heat pump on your own schedule without the urgency of living in a hot or cold home. This also gives you the time to research products, costs, and efficiency and make an informed buyer’s decision.

This is the most cost-effective option in the long run because it will be costly to fix your old unit for both options A and B. New systems are also more efficient and can reduce your monthly expenses on heating and cooling.

If paying for a new system is a concern, we have two financing options for you:

When purchasing a new heat pump, what kind of refrigerant should I look for and is considered environmentally friendly?

· R410-A

· R407-A (Used in mostly commercial applications)

For further detailed information – check out this release by the Government of Canada.

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