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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

What Is R22? Will I Be Impacted By the Freon Phase Out?

blue-question-markEverything is starting to get “smarter.” We’ve got smartphones, tablets, thermostats, and even smart homes. If you’re familiar with smart devices and the initiatives surrounding them, then you’re familiar with one central theme—making the world a more efficient and greener place. This applies to your energy sources as well!

Today, we want to take some time to talk about R22. We’re sure that you’ve heard the term floating around. If you’ve got an older air conditioner, then the conversation surrounding this refrigerant applies to you! Let’s get into this below and know that we’re here to help you with your air conditioning replacement in Minneapolis.

What Is R22 Refrigerant?

R22 is an HCFC. HCFC stands for hydrochlorofluorocarbon.

If you’re talking to a friend, neighbor, or coworker, then you’ll hear it referred to as “freon.” It’s been used as a refrigerant in air conditioners for decades. It’s responsible for getting the air in your home to actually cool.

What This Means for Homeowners

Now, scientists have discovered that R22 is terrible for the environment. This is due to the chlorine that’s found in this chemical. It’s eating away at the ozone layer and, in turn, damaging our health.

You read that correctly, chlorine is actually damaging to your personal health. This is a chemical that homeowners are typically familiar with because it’s what’s keeping their pool habitable. When you’re breathing it in, though, it starts to negatively impact your immune system, heart, blood, and your respiratory system. This is why it’s important that we phase this type of refrigerant out.

In 2015, the ban on the product and import of HCFCs went into motion. The only exceptions were for those continuing the service needs of certain refrigeration systems. In 2020, R22 and similar HCFCs were completely banned.

Now, only reclaimed, recycled, or previously used R22 can be used to service any existing equipment with aims to phase it out completely by 2030.

Top Benefits of Upgrading My HVAC System

Familiarity can be intoxicating in its own right. If you’re someone who isn’t so keen on change, we can understand why you’d consider toughing it out until the very last drops of R22 are in circulation. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t do this:


R22 refrigerant is already scarce, and it becomes more expensive each day. If you want to ensure that you have proper service from your air conditioner that doesn’t cost you too much to run, then we’d suggest that you upgrade your AC now. Soon there won’t be many HVAC professionals who can work on your system.


We mentioned above that R22 is bad for your health, but we want to reiterate here. Constant exposure to R22 leads to eye irritation, coughing, chest pains, water retention in the lungs, and even cancer in extreme cases. Upgrade to keep you and your family members safe.

Tax Credits

Upgrading your system to a new, eco-friendly model will benefit you during tax season. You just need to choose a new air conditioner with the highest efficiency possible and make sure that this unit is used in your primary residence. We can help you choose the right model.

Contact Residential Heating and Air Conditioning for your AC needs.

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