R-22 Phase Out

September Blog Entry

Author: Erik Hansen


R-22 Phase Out is Upon Us.  Are you Ready?

December 31st, 2019 is a big day.  Not only are we rolling into the New Year and celebrating another decade gone and a new one to begin enjoying, but there is also something very important happening in the refrigeration industry on that day.  This day will be the last day that the refrigerant R-22 will be able to be manufactured or imported into the United States.  In addition to this, repair of R-22 systems will rely on recovered refrigerant from the system or stockpiled quantities.  Clearly fixing a simple leak on an R-22 system will be quite expensive or even impossible depending on refrigerant availability.

In general, R-22 system owners will have three choices:

  1. Do nothing until your system breaks down.
  2. Retrofit (or convert) your old R-22 equipment to use an existing refrigerant.
  3. Replace your system proactively to something that is more reliable.

It is important to note that some of these options are not realistic (or smart) for everyone.  For example, retrofitting is not technically feasible for every system; you’ll need an inspection of your equipment by a Carlson and Stewart Refrigeration technician or engineer to determine if it might work for you.  For the time being, you can still get R-22 to fix a broken system, but the skyrocketing cost of the refrigerant as availability decreases will mean a very expensive repair, and will only get more expensive the closer we get to the date of January 1st, 2020 when R-22 becomes illegal for manufacture or import.

The last option in the list above, and probably what you are hoping to put off, is a system replacement.  Especially for a large customer it’s a huge expense (not to mention inconvenient) to replace an extensive system or many units.  While its bad enough when you know it’s coming, having to do so with no warning is much worse.  The point is, you don’t want to be replacing a system on an emergency basis.

Carlson and Stewart Refrigeration can help you prioritize which systems to replace first, and help you develop a strategy that works for your budget while still getting ahead of the R-22 phase out timeline.  Consider yourself fortunate that you know what’s coming and have time to plan.  Many people will be taken by surprise! 

The clock is ticking and the year of 2020 will be here before you know it.  What are your plans for your R-22 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration systems?