R-22 is a common refrigerant that is currently being phased out in the U.S. due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone-depletion (R-22 is also a global warming gas). U.S. EPA has tried to reduce use of this material by imposing strict quotas on its production. Since 2010, the agency has also banned sale of new air-conditioning units containing the compound.
Overview on refrigerant phase-out and leakage of refrigerant from your air conditioning system:
Leakage: Fact–Since your air conditioning system has a sealed refrigerant circuit, it should never leak.
If you are told leakage is normal, this statement is a lie.
If you are told that it’s against the law to add refrigerant, this is also a lie.
Refrigerant leak dilemma!
- First thing that happens is a very small leak will cause your system to lose its ability to dehumidify. So you lower your thermostat to compensate, which drives your power bill up.
- As more leakage occurs, you start to lose the ability to cool so your system runs longer—driving your power bill higher yet.
- As more leakage occurs, your evaporator coil will freeze up, your coil will turn into a block of ice—which now blocks airflow—and when it thaws, the excess water can damage ceilings and your personal property.
- The worst hasn’t happened yet; you could destroy your compressor.
- Find the leak, repair the leak, and recharge to proper manufacturers requirements. If you have an R-22 refrigerant system, it will be very, very expensive. Due to government regulations, the cost of R-22 is 200 times what it was only a few years ago.
If your system has developed a refrigerant leak, NOW may be a good time to plan on replacing with a new high efficient R-410A refrigerant product. This is the newest refrigerant available today.