Time Line for Phase Out of Refrigerant R22
In the year 1987 conference was held, where a protocol by the name “Montreal Protocol" was signed by a number of countries to phase out the use and production of CFC refrigerants. US is one of the 190 countries where the manufacturing of R22 has to be stopped in phase manner and where the alternatives have to be found out.
As per EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the timeline for phase out of R22 from United States is as follows:
January 1, 2010: By this date there would be complete ban on the production and import of R22 and R142b. However, there is exception for the on-going servicing needs of the existing plants and equipment.
January 1, 2015: By this date there would be ban on the sale and use of R22. There is exception for certain cases, including the serving needs of the existing refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
January 1, 2020: By this date there would complete ban on the production and import of R22 refrigerant. The gas would not be available even for servicing of the existing plants.
After January 2020, the refrigeration and the air conditioning systems using R22 would have to depend on the stockpile of the refrigerant available with them. One just can’t really predict till when R22 would be available after the January 2020 deadline. It may also be available till the expiry of the equipment, but it would be surely lot more expensive. The owners of these equipment would have to either switch to the new alternative refrigerant or bear the costs of the highly expensive refrigerant R22 at that time or they may have to totally shutdown the equipment.