January 1, 2020, R22 refrigerant becomes illegal in the U.S. The phase-out of this refrigerant, widely-used in consumer and commercial heating and cooling systems worldwide, is going to affect millions, creating a ripple effect in the industry. How will the consequences of the phase-out impact you?

Higher Service Prices on R22 Systems

After January 1, 2020, HVAC commercial contractors won’t be able to obtain a single ounce of R22 for your system.  Losing this widely used chemical is leaving a significant void. This has caused the price of refrigerant and the cost of servicing R22 systems to spike to new heights, with the cost of some services rising 50% over pre-ban estimates.

Counterfeit & Contaminated R22

There has also been a rise in counterfeit and contaminated R22 in the market. For those that fall victim to this scam, the consequences of losing funds pale in comparison the high risk of fire and explosion posed by the counterfeit/contaminated refrigerants. If you need R22 before the phase-out deadline, make doubly-sure you are purchasing it from an EPA-certified supplier.

Options for Businesses with R22 Systems

  • Maintain Your Current System (Wait)
    Commercial HVAC contractors in NJ advise if your current system is in good shape, newer than 8-years old, and not leaking refrigerant, you can continue using it until it develops a leak. This will require regular service and attentive care. With each service appointment, you should discuss the timeline of imminent system replacement with your local commercial HVAC services provider. This approach isn’t feasible long-term. Eventually, leaks will develop and system components fail, requiring a system upgrade.
  • Retrofit Your System (Put a Band Aid on It)
    As R22 supplies dwindled, options for retrofitting older systems to refrigerants such as R134A, R410A, R407C, and R407A arose as a potential solution. None of these refrigerants is a direct replacement for R22.  This means the process will not work in all cases, and in all cases, additional equipment will be necessary to make these refrigerants work in the system. This approach is timely and costly, often more so than a new system. Retrofits also void the manufacturer warranty, and if done incorrectly, can leave you with a downed system in the middle of temperature extremes. At this point, you will join the throngs of others waiting in line for a full system replacement.
  • Replace Your System (Be Proactive)
    If your system is 8+ years old, upgrading to a new system that utilizes non-ozone depleting refrigerant is strongly recommended by your commercial HVAC service company. This solution offers many benefits, including:


    • No unexpected downtime and waiting for the replacement of your old R22 unit.
    • An EPA-compliant, environmentally-safe system.
    • More efficient system heating and cooling and lower energy bills.
    • Smaller system footprint and streamlined design.
    • Smart, mobile operation.

R22 phase-out concerns? H&H Commercial Services is here to help. Contact us to schedule R22 system maintenance or learn more about upgrading your system today.