The EPA discovered that the use of Freon, also known as R22, has had a negative impact on the ozone layer. This was scientifically proven in the 1970s, yet, for the last 40+ years, R22 was the go-to refrigerant for commercial and residential heat and cooling. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a stand. As apart of the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances (ODS), starting January 1, 2020, R22 will no longer be produced or imported to the United States.
The R22 phase-out has been in progress for a substantial amount of time. This hazardous substance was first addressed in January of 2010 when equipment using R22 stopped being manufacturing. Given that the expected lifespan of most commercial heating and cooling systems is 15-20 years, even brand new units running on R22 from 2009 will be nearing their mid-life in 2020.Now that the time has come for #R22 production to halt, your #facility will need to decide how to adjust to the changes. Chat with @RasMech about your options: Click To Tweet
Now that the time has come for R22 production to halt, your facility will need to decide how to adjust. Here are three primary options:
- Keep your current system. With proper preventative maintenance, your facility may continue to operate using equipment fueled by R22. However, when a breakdown does occur, any available R22 will be significantly more expensive. At that point, your facility managers would need to discuss whether to buy the overpriced R22 or go with one of the other two options below. If your unit is nearing the end of its life, this may not be a great option for your facility.
- Update your system. Retrofitting the system to use new efficient and compliant refrigerants may be an option for specific units. Although it’s costly to make such a significant change to the system, if your unit is in the 10-12 years-old range it may make sense. This is especially true if you’ve kept up with routine preventative maintenance. Not all systems can be transitioned, and warranties may be impacted.
- Replace your system. A new unit would be under warranty, giving your facility 1-5 years of protection. If your current unit is 18+ years old, replacing your system with an efficient, up-to-code unit, is your best option. With budgets being evaluated at years end, if you find yourself with a surplus to be spent, this may be a wise use of that money.
As the R22 phase-out continues, non-ozone-depleting alternatives will become the new go-to refrigerant. The EPA continues to review alternatives and compiles those acceptable for household and commercial use.
Unsure of what to do with your unit? Give the experts are Rasmussen Mechanical Services a call at 1-800-237-3141. Our certified technicians will give you an honest answer to what will be best for your facility. Schedule an appointment with us today.