The R22 Phaseout

R-22, also known as Freon or HCFC-22, is a refrigerant gas that was used in air conditioning units and heat pumps. It is being phased out because it harms the ozone layer. The phase-out started in 2003 and banned the production of new systems that used R-22 in 2010. Since January 1, 2020, R-22 is no longer produced or imported in the U.S… R-410A is the new industry standard for refrigerant.

The ACHR News has published an article titled “The Professor: Explaining the R-22 Phaseout” which provides a detailed explanation of the R-22 phaseout. The article explains that R-22 is a pure compound containing only one molecule and contains hydrogen (H), carbon ©, chlorine (Cl), and fluorine (F). Its chemical name is chlorodifluoromethane, meaning its molecule has one chlorine atom, two fluorine atoms, and its base molecule is methane. R-22 is classified as a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) and has been the primary refrigerant used in commercial and residential air conditioning systems for many years. The article also explains that R-22 has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) because it contains chlorine. When released into the atmosphere, some of the HCFC molecules could reach the stratosphere and damage the ozone layer that shields the earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This UV radiation causes skin cancers and other malignant melanomas, decreases crop yields, kills certain marine organisms, and damages other biological systems. The article also provides a timeline of the R-22 phaseout and the ban on its production and import in the U.S1. 

Steve Klatt

Director Commercial/Industrial HVAC