Phasing Out HCFC-22 Refrigerants and How This Affects the Consumers and the Service Industry

Phasing Out HCFC-22 Refrigerants and How This Affects the Consumers and the Service Industry

The team of K&S Heating and Air, have been providing air conditioning service in Garland, TX for decades. We have seen practices become obsolete, transform into trends and have witnessed regulatory changes, that went onto become a part of today’s industry implemented standards.

Over the years, the changes, that have affected our industry in the most extreme ways, entails the use of refrigerants. Yes, the refrigerants which you find running in your air conditioners, helping to keep your indoors cool, pleasant and comfortable in the warm summers of Texas.

The Shift from CFCs to HCFCs

Refrigerant is the main element of an air conditioners’ cooling cycle. Without it, your air conditioner won’t function. When the technology of air conditioners was first introduced, CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons were the first class of refrigerants that were used in air conditioners. Manufacturers knew about the environmental risks that this type of refrigerant carried, but it was the only option that they had.

Then, came the HCFCs or R-22 class of refrigerants – the one which you will find being used in most of the air conditioners, installed currently across the country. CFCs were ordered to be gradually phased out, as per the statutes of an international treaty, the Montreal Pact, which was signed in 1987. HCFC-22 became the established norm.

Refrigerant Regulations – Once Again Being Revised

And now, HCFC-22 too have been instructed to be phased out. These instructions are part of the recent amendments introduced in the Montreal Protocol.

According to these amendments, HCFC-22 usage has been instructed to be curbed to at least 99.5 percent below the baseline levels by 2020.  This would be followed by a complete phase out by year, 2030.

For more details about the amendments carried out in Montreal Protocol, consult a local air conditioning service in Garland, TX.

This begs the question:

What prompted the introduction of these amendments?

Like CFCs, HCFCs have also been found to affect the health of the ecosystem. When released into the environment:

  • HCFCs can damage the ozone layer.
  • HCFCs contribute to global warming.
  • HCFCs carry health risks, causing adverse biological reactions that affect humans, plants and the marine life.

How HCFC-22 Can Get Released into the Environment?

As a refrigerant, running through the coils of your air conditioner unit, HCFC-22 can get released into the environment through:

  • Refrigerant leaks, as the coils carrying HCFC-22 get damaged over years of service. Sometimes, even improper installation practices also result in refrigerant leaks.
  • Improper air condition service and repair practices, as untrained technicians end up venting them out in the environment.

*Always make sure that you hire a professional and experienced air conditioning service in Garland, TX for AC repairs and maintenance.

With air conditioning units carrying high risk of HCFC release into the environment, regulatory authorities had to introduce measures to counter it. This lead to the execution of the initiative to completely phase out HCFC-22 by 2030 and replace it with environmental friendly class of refrigerants, the R410a.

What This Initiative Implies for the Consumers?

The introduction of the revised refrigerant regulations, will impact the consumer community in the following ways:

Future Purchase Decisions

Consumers no longer can buy air conditioning systems that operate on HCFC-22. The production of all such units was ordered to be ceased in 2010. However, this offers them the opportunity to replace their existing HCFC-22 operating units with air conditioning systems that are more energy efficient, using R410a class of refrigerants.

*Please be wary of any air conditioning service in Garland, TX that claims to offer retrofit solutions to make the old systems work with R410a refrigerants. Air conditioners that operate on HCFC-22 cannot use the new R410a type of refrigerant.

Servicing of HCFC-22 Operated Air Conditioning Units

The servicing of old AC units—air conditioners which use HCFC-22, will become expensive, as the refrigerant will be hard to procure. The production of the refrigerant itself is expected to be reduced drastically by 2020, hence, you could end up relying on the reclaimed stock to get your unit serviced.

How to determine the class of refrigerant, your existing air conditioning system is using?

You can determine the class of refrigerant your air conditioner system uses, by:

  • Examining the nameplate, that comes mounted on your AC unit. It contains the details of the refrigerant that the system uses.
  • Reading the fine print of the owner’s manual.
  • Referring to the manufacturer’s website and checking against the model number of your unit.

If you need more help, please consult, K&S Heating and Air, your local air conditioning service in Garland, TX.


Consumers don’t have to get their old air conditioners that use HCFC-22 immediately replaced. However, with the production of the refrigerant expected to be shunted, it would be better to get a new unit before 2020.

How Do the Changes in Refrigerant Regulations Affect the HVAC Service Industry?

Whenever, such a directive is introduced to phase out a particular type of refrigerant, it directly impacts the workings of the HVAC service industry.

  • HVAC service professionals, will have to make sure that they have the stock of the phased out HCFC-22 refrigerant, so as to recharge the units of old.
  • HVAC service professionals will have to adjust their service charges, as the phased out refrigerant will become expensive to procure.
  • HVAC professionals will have to make sure that no lapse is exercised, when recovering, recycling and reclaiming the phased out refrigerant.
  • HVAC professionals will have to update their practice to be better equipped in order to handle the new refrigerant, when servicing, installing or repairing an air conditioner.

K&S Heating and Air Provides Professional Air Conditioning Service in Garland, TX

K&S Heating and Air, offers professional air conditioning service in Garland, TX. We have the experience and the expertise to execute all types of air conditioning jobs, whether it is repairing, maintenance or installation. To contact us, please click here.