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U.S. Ban On R-22 Refrigerant

October 1, 2020

If your air conditioning unit was installed in 2010 or before, servicing it is about to become a lot pricier! Why? As of January 1, 2020, the standard refrigerant for A/C units that are 10 years or older is now illegal to manufacture and import into the United States.

What is a refrigerant?

Every air conditioning system uses something called a refrigerant, which is the generic word for a chemical blend that cycles through your air conditioner. A refrigerant is a substance used in a cooling mechanism (such as an air conditioner, heat pump or refrigerator) that acts as a heat carrier. It changes from gas to liquid and back to gas throughout the refrigeration cycle to transfer heat from one area to another. Up until 2010, one of the most popular refrigerants was Freon, or R-22.

Why is R-22 banned in the United States?

A researcher from the University of California initially suspected that the coolant was harmful to our ozone layer beginning in 1974. Since the initial claim, years of testing has confirmed its adverse effects on our stratosphere and as of January 1, 2020, it has been banned from being manufactured and imported into the United States.

How do I know if my A/C unit uses this refrigerant?

Most air conditioning systems that were made through 2009 utilized R-22. 2010 marked the beginning of its phase-out, with manufacturers only being able to produce the gas to service current units. So, if your unit was made prior to 2010 – it most likely is still running on this banned refrigerant. If you’re unsure of the year your air conditioning unit was manufacturered or installed, each unit’s nameplate will also list which coolant it utilizes (usually located on the outdoor condenser unit).

How will the ban affect my unit?

Aside from electrical problems, refrigerant issues and leaks are some of the most frequent repairs for A/C units. If you air conditioner is currently running on the R-22 refrigerant, costs for any repairs after January 1, 2020, will skyrocket. Not only will it be costly, but it will become much more difficult to access the refrigerant.

What are my options?

There are a few things you need to weigh when determining whether to retrofit or replace your current A/C unit. First, can it be fixed? Schebler’s expert technicians can tell you whether or not fixing your system is a feasible option for you. If it is, you should consider the cost to repair vs. cost to replace. In the long run, replacing the unit might end up being the most cost-efficient option.

At Schebler Heating & Air, we don’t want you to make a decision between comfort and cost. Schebler is an HVAC SAVE-certified contractor, which means your new air conditioner or furnace could qualify for rebates from your local energy company. We’re also proud to be the area’s oldest Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, allowing us to provide you with the highest-quality equipment.

Upgrade your comfort and save with our current manufactures and utility rebates on any qualifying Carrier purchase. Turn to the experts at Schebler Heating & Air for your HVAC system repair or replacement – request an appointment online or call us 24/7 at 563.359.8001.


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  • Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
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