How Will The R22 Phase Out Affect You?

Technician Working on a Furnace Tune Up

No, we’re not talking about a droid from Star Wars. We’re talking about R22 refrigerant, which is commonly found in older air conditioners and air source heat pumps. By January 1, 2020, it will be illegal to sell any R22 related products in Canada. 

So, how will the R22 phase-out affect you and your existing equipment? To understand this question, we first need to uncover what R22 is and what it’s effects are on the environment.

What is R22?

R22 is apart of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) family. Try saying that 5 times fast. The job of these gas or liquid chemicals is to evaporate quickly, creating a quick and powerful cooling reaction. You’d often find R22 in refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.

Although R22 is quite useful, it’s a dangerous chemical that affects our environment. When evaporated, this chemical is released into the stratosphere and damages our ozone layer. Thus reducing protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

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If you’re researching whether your heating and cooling equipment contain R22, here is a list of scientific aliases R22 goes by:

  • HCFC22
  • Freon 22
  • Arcton 22
  • Refrigerant 22
  • Chlorodifluoromethane
  • Difluoromonochloromethane
  • Monochlorodifluoromethane
  • Difluorochloromethane

Let’s just say we’re thankful this chemical is commonly referred to as R22. Now that you have some understanding regarding the dangers of R22, your next step is to understand how R22 is phasing out and how that’ll affect you as a consumer.

How is R22 Phasing Out?

Back in 1998, the Government of Canada started a phase-out program regarding a multitude of ozone-depleting substances. Gradually reducing the amount of ozone-depleting products from the Canadian market.

As of 2020, the Canadian government will put a halt to the production and imports of all HCFC products, thus depleting the supply of R22. Over time, these older products will begin to deteriorate and require Canadian’s to purchase new and efficient HVAC products. But, don’t let Father-Time do the work for you.

All air conditioning systems and heat pumps will be switching out R22 for one of the more environmentally friendly types of refrigerants listed below:

  • R410-A
  • R137-A
  • R404-A
  • R407-C
  • R507

Each chemical substance provides ozone-depletion ratings of zero and higher safety ratings than R22. Even if you’ve bought your AC system or heat pump recently, it’s crucial you research your HVAC product and determine whether it’s utilizing R22 Freon. You can do that by inspecting your user manual or requesting maintenance.

Recycle & Upgrade

If your air conditioning system or heat pump was installed in the last few years, inspecting your heating and cooling products for R22 is our professional suggestion. Simply because it’ll soon be illegal to utilize such products. Your R22 phase-out process should consist of these steps; “inspect”, “recycle” and “upgrade”.

If you’re an R22 system owner, it’s not as simple as dropping it on the side of the road with your garbage. Heating and cooling systems that contain dangerous chemicals cannot be recycled normally. We encourage you to contact a licensed professional who has been trained and certified to handle R22 Refrigerant.

With the cold weather on its way, now is the best time to maintain your heating and cooling systems and find out whether you’re affected by the R22 phase-out. Reach out to us today and set an appointment for a licensed technician to come and ensure your HVAC equipment is free of R22 and in peak running condition. Trust Dr HVAC, your service experts.

Schedule to have your HVAC system checked for R22 today!


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