Jul 2016


What You Need to Know about the EPA’s Freon 22 Phase-Out

If your existing HVAC system, air conditioner or other refrigeration unit is an older model that uses R-22 refrigerant — also known as HCFC-22 or freon (a registered trademark of DuPont that has since come into general use) — there are a number of important facts you need to know as the phase-out of this potentially harmful hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) gradually moves closer to a complete ban.


CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) were the world’s first refrigerant. Invented in 1928, these precursors to HCFCs were safe for many uses and were therefore a welcome invention that enhanced people’s quality of life. However, in the mid-1970s, it became clear that though this substance was generally regarded as safe, it caused damage to the stratospheric ozone layer that surrounds the earth. In an effort to find a more environmentally-friendly coolant, scientists developed HCFCs, which soon replaced their CFC counterpart. And while HCFCs appear to be reasonably safe as far as their immediate use is concerned, they have since been determined to be equally damaging to the ozone layer. To prevent further destruction of this vital protective barrier, the U.S. has, since becoming a signatory to the international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol in 1987, instituted a gradual phase-out of HCFC coolants. What does that mean to you? If your HVAC or other equipment uses this coolant, it can mean a great deal.

Affected Equipment

A partial list of potentially affected equipment follows:

  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Central air conditioners
  • Window AC units
  • Ductless air conditioners
  • Air-to-air heat pumps
  • Ground-source heat pumps
  • Packaged AC units
  • Packaged heat pumps
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Motor vehicle AC systems

Less-common equipment, used in commercial and/or industrial applications, includes the following:

  • Chillers
  • Ice machines
  • Retail refrigerators
  • Retail freezers
  • Restaurant refrigerators
  • Restaurant freezers
  • Cold-storage units/warehouses
  • Refrigerated transport
  • Industrial process refrigeration
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  • article from http://www.calldougs.com
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