It’s a well-known fact that refrigerant leaks are harmful to the environment, particularly the HCFC R-22. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to keep stock of the condition of their HVAC systems through regular maintenance checkups and service.
Here’s a look at what they are, what they do, and why there is a move to phase them out completely.
Phase 1: R-22 Defined
HCFCs (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) are chemicals used as refrigerants for air conditioning systems. While they are indeed effective for cooling purposes, the downside is that they can deplete the planet’s protective ozone layer, thus contributing to climate change. The most rampant HCFC in use today is the R-22
Phase 2: R-22 Phased Out
In an effort to protect the environment, the EPA has banned R-22 from further manufacture. As such, homeowners will need to make informed choices when servicing, repairing, or replacing air conditioning units that use R-22. The move to phase R-22 out was implemented in 2010 when its production and import was first limited. The lengthy process will continue until 2020 when it will no longer be produced or imported. This is a staggered phaseout designed to give homeowners ample time to switch to ozone-friendly alternatives.
Phase 3: Alternative Refrigerants
R-410A, which is a non-ozone-depleting refrigerant blend, is the most common alternative to R-22. It is produced and distributed under different trade names such as GENTRON AZ-20®, SUVA® 410A, and PURON®. The EPA is responsible for reviewing such alternative refrigerants and, as such, maintains a list of all acceptable alternatives for both commercial and residential air conditioning purposes.
For environmentally friendly HVAC solutions, trust only McMaster Heating and Air Conditioning. We cater to your needs the affordable and conscientious way. Since 1996, we’ve been consistently providing the highest quality workmanship in our field.