What Does The Ban Of R22 Freon Mean For Your Old AC? (2024)

Table of Contents

Heading 2 Example

Heading 2 Example


During summer, we use our air conditioners to cool our homes on a daily basis. They provide comfort and better quality of life. An air conditioner depends on refrigerant (also known as coolant or Freon) to perform all these functions. R22 (also known as HCFC-22) is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) once widely used as a refrigerant. If your home or office AC is over 10 years old, it’s probably using R22 freon. However, R22 Freon is banned in the U.S. today. If your AC system uses R22 refrigerant, you might be worried about how this may affect you. Read on.

And if you need professional consultation to replace your R-22 air conditioner, SuperTech is here to help!

R22 Freon Is The Old. SuperTech Will Help Get You The New!

Schedule Service

What Is R22 Freon?

R22, a common form of the HCFC-22 chemical, is a refrigerant used for cooling air in air conditioning systems. A refrigerant is a substance used in a heat cycle that undergoes a phase change between gas and liquid to allow the cooling in an AC. R22 is just one of the many refrigerant choices available out there. Without a refrigerant, an AC won’t be able to cool your home. A refrigerant may also be responsible for heating air if you have a heat pump system. R22 refrigerant has been an important component of air conditioners in homes and offices for years. But as of 2020, it’s prohibited in the U.S..

Why Did The U.S Ban R22 Refrigerant?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned R22 freon in the country. Why? R22 contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer – which absorbs the ultraviolet radiation from the sun and protects us from its harmful effects – and the ecosystem in general. R22 leaks are highly toxic and can damage the environment, specifically through causing ozone depletion.

What Does The Ban Of R22 Freon Mean For Your Old AC? (2)

In 2010, the U.S. stopped the sale of new air conditioning units that use R22. That means new air conditioners in US manufactured after 2010 are prohibited from using R22 coolant.

R22 phaseout in 2020 means that it's completely illegal to manufacture or import R22 into the country. Recovered, recycled, or reclaimed R22 can still service existing HVAC systems, but chemical manufacturers can’t produce new R22 refrigerants to service existing air conditioners and heat pumps.

What Does It Mean If Your AC Unit Is Using R22 Freon?

You as your system's owner are not forced to replace your R22 AC unit now. But you may need the R22 refrigerant for your air conditioning system one day. And the fact remains that old R22 stocks will be sold out and won’t be replenished. This will force prices up and make it difficult for HVAC technicians to find any.

How Do I Know Whether My AC Uses R22 Freon?

Is your air conditioning unit more than 10 years old? If so, it may be using R22. Even if it’s newer, there’s no need to make an assumption. Here are three simple things you can do to check the type of refrigerant your existing equipment is running on:

Check the owner’s manual:Find the operation manual of your older system and check it. If you see HCFC-22 written on it, then your older air conditioner uses R22.

Look for the equipment nameplate: Check the indoor coil or outdoor condenser of your HVAC system for a nameplate on the case that shows all the specs of your system as well as the installed refrigerant.

What Does The Ban Of R22 Freon Mean For Your Old AC? (3)

Indoor Coil Name Plate

What Does The Ban Of R22 Freon Mean For Your Old AC? (4)

AC Condenser Name Plate

Call a professional:When in doubt about the type of refrigerant your AC runs on and how the R22 ban can affect you, call SuperTech for help. We have experienced, EPA-certified technicians to give you the needed help and support.

Is R22 Freon Still Available?

Yes, recovered or recycled R22 is still available to purchase. However, the cost is getting higher and higher as the supply is diminishing.

Again, if the tank or tubing for the condensate pump cracks because of long-term usage, the water will escape and drip or pool around your AC unit.

How Often Does My R22 Air Conditioner Need Its Freon Refilled?

An air conditioner is a closed loop. Refrigerant cycles through this closed loop system. So, no new refrigerant is needed unless there’s a refrigerant leak. This is because it isn’t gas that can be used up like in a car. However, possible signs that your HVAC system could be low on refrigerant include the following:

  • Your AC doesn’t cool your home or office when running.
  • You’re incurring high energy bills.
  • The air from the vents isn’t cold.
  • There’s ice on the refrigerant lines.
  • Frozen heat pump condenser
  • Your HVAC unit is making a hissing or bubbling noise when it’s on.

To diagnose whether it’s indeed low on refrigerant, you need a HVAC technician to measure superheat and subcool with gauges. That requires special equipment and technical knowledge. During a professional AC tune-up, HVAC technicians test your system's refrigerant levels and determine if more refrigerant is required. This is why it is vital to get an AC tune up before summer so that you have cool air all season.

Furthermore, to learn more about what to do if your system is leaking refrigerant, check out our freon leak blog.

What Can You Replace R22 With?

For residential HVAC system, R410A is the R22 replacement.

What's The Difference In R22 And R-410A?

R22 is a greenhouse gas. It affects the ozone layer when it goes into the atmosphere, probably due to leakages. R-410A has been selected as the replacement refrigerant of R22 in residential cooling systems. It has the following benefits over the older R22:

  • R-410A is more competent because it can absorb and release heat efficiently.
  • It doesn’t damage the environment.
  • It’s good for all new air conditioners.
  • It doesn’t destroy the ozone layer.
  • It’s cheaper.

Can't Afford Expensive Refrigerant? Call Us For A New System!

Schedule Service

Now, What Are My Options If I Have R22 Freon In My Old AC?

If you have an R22 air conditioner that is leaking Freon, there are two choices to make:

  • Buy a new AC.
  • Repairthe leak and add R22.

Depending on where the leak is, fixing your older unit could be very costly. Again, R22 has become very expensive due to the freon ban. There could also be multiple leaks in your R22 system. New units could achieve higher energy efficiency and be eligible forfederal tax credit. But of course, you’re free to choose from any of these two alternatives. So, it makes sense to get professional help in a situation like this. Contact SuperTech, the best AC company in Baltimore, or schedule online today for a solution.

  • I have sn older ac and don’t have the money to replace it is it expensive to have it checked for leaks


    • Leak searches can run from $300-$600 depending on the level of search performed, however it is difficult to determine the pricing of repair until we determine where the leak is coming from.


  • My system uses R22 and I’m boring told I need a new coil and unit 4,000 dollars. I assume it’s because they don’t want to use the R22 and upgrade my system. I know I can buy it on line. They did not mention leaks. Do I need to find a company that will put the R22 in the system?


    • R22 was phased out from the EPA starting in 2020. Because of this ban, we highly recommend replacement on an upgraded system simply because of cost and availability on the banned refrigerant- The cost is getting higher and higher as the supply is diminishing.


  • Hi
    I have the ac unit with is used the cooling gas R22.my question is can we change the gas from R22 to R410A.


    • That’s an excellent question! Unfortunately, you cannot convert a R22 unit to R410A. The pressures for R410A needed are much higher than an R22 system can handle. We highly recommend replacing the air conditioner condenser as well as the indoor coil to ensure a proper conversion to R410A.


  • yes but all the refrigerant lines will need to be replaced (very costly and intrusive) because R410 runs at a much higher pressure. More than he existing lines can withstand.
    Why don’t you mention that?


    • You are correct, Tita. We did not mention the need to replace linesets. We recommend replacing the linesets during installation depending on multiple factors and that’s usually discussed with our Comfort Specialists at the time of the estimate as it is not every install. We will make sure to edit our blog to include this kind of information. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!


  • Where can I get R22 in Minnesota? Twin Cities, western suburbs


    • With the ban on R22, the cost is getting higher and higher and availability is scarce as the supply is diminishing. We highly recommend replacement on an upgraded system.


  • Heat Not Working in House? How To Fix [With Pictures]

    Heat Not Working in House? How To Fix [With Pictures]

    Your AC Smells Musty? Here’s How To Fix It [With Pictures]

    Your AC Smells Musty? Here’s How To Fix It [With Pictures]

    What Does The Ban Of R22 Freon Mean For Your Old AC? (2024)


    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

    Last Updated:

    Views: 6354

    Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

    Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

    Birthday: 1993-08-23

    Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

    Phone: +9958996486049

    Job: Sales Manager

    Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

    Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.