As you are aware, R-22 has been on a phase out schedule for several years. January 1, 2020 begins a new phase since it will no longer be produced.
Here is what you need to know.
- Beginning January 1, 2020, it will no longer be permitted to produce or import R-22 into the United States.
- After January 1, 2020 only recycled, AHRI-700 certified reclaimed product or virgin R-22 sold from existing stockpiles can be used for servicing existing equipment.
- After 2020, the servicing of systems that use R-22 or blends containing HCFC-22 will rely on recovered or stockpiled quantities. It is difficult to predict when these supplies will run out. Supplies may be available until almost all equipment containing R-22 is retired.
Because the demand for R-22 is greater than what is being produced, retrofitting is the next option. Retrofit may be a good option if the R-22 system has leaks and needs service but is no longer under warranty. Also, cost conscious customers may prefer to do a retrofit instead of replacing the system with a new R-410A system.
Freon™ MO99 matches R-22 in terms of capacity and efficiency in most systems, but with a significantly lower discharge temperature that may prolong the life of the compressor. MO99 is compatible with mineral oil and POE oil providing a quick, cost-effective R-22 replacement. Once a system is running on MO99, it can be topped off during service without removing the entire refrigerant charge. For complete details, please refer to the M099 Retrofit Guidelines.
For most R-22 systems, when retrofitting to Freon™ MO99, all you need to do is recover the R-22, replace critical seals, charge refrigerant, restart and monitor for leaks, label the system with a Freon™ MO99 retrofit label, and you’re done. R-22 replacement can’t get any easier.
This pamphlet from the EPA is a good guide for what technicians and contractors need to know about the phase out.