Banning the Production and Import of R-22 Refrigerant
January 1, 2010, begin the phase-out of R-22 refrigerant. R-22 or HCFC-22 is a refrigerant commonly used in residential air conditioning equipment and commercial refrigeration applications. It is a manmade chemical known as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The phase-out is part of a worldwide initiative, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The initiative is a plan to end the use of all ozone-depleting chemicals. The release of HCFCs and other manmade chemicals into the atmosphere have eroded the Earth's protective ozone screen. It has actually created an "ozone hole" above the South Pole. Scientists predicted that if the plan is successful, the ozone layer that protects the Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation will recover by 2075.
January 1, 2010 marked the banning of the production and import of R-22 (HCFC-22) for new systems. It is step one of a four step, twenty year process. In 2015, the sale and use of R-22 will be banned, by 2020 only recycled/reclaimed R-22 will be available and in 2030 it will be completely banned.
"The average American is pretty GREEN. That phrase certainly has taken on a new meaning in the past couple of years." remarked Jim Lee, broker/owner of EXIT STRATEGIES REALTY in Edmond Oklahoma. "Most of us don't mind helping clean up the environment but sometimes this task seems overwhelming. Some folks are wondering why the ban is stretched out over such a long period of time. The answer to this question was a wise decision by the powers that be. It is being phased out over a twenty year period so that the bulk of the switch to ozone-friendly refrigerants will occur through normal equipment replacement."
R-22 will be replaced with a product known as R-410A. Systems using R-410A are ozone friendly but are slightly more expensive than a comparable R-22 system. "Due to the cost difference many are asking if their current equipment can be modified to use R-410. The answer is yes, but the modifications are substantial and in most cases are not cost effective." states Lee.
With the currently state of our economy, many American's are facing issues that affect their immediate day to day living situation. Replacing their air conditioning units to help the environment in the future is not as important as surviving now! With that being said, there are ways to minimize the impact on the ozone layer using existing R-22 units. The most important thing that can be done is maintain the equipment. Major leaks rarely develop in properly installed and maintained equipment. If problems do occur, be sure to use a reliable service contractor who is EPA-certified. For more information regarding the R-22 phase-out and banning, visit www.EXITStrategiesRealty.com. Go to the (R-22 Refrigerant Phase Out Information) link at the bottom of the home page.