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How Obsolete R22 Refrigerant Affects Your Budget

Effective January 1st 2020, the common “R-22 Freon” found in most AC systems made and installed prior to 2010 became illegal to sell, manufacture, or import in the US due to the destructive effect of HCFCs on the ozone layer, which protects life on our planet by absorbing harmful UV-B rays from the sun.


How this affects you:

When we perform routine maintenance, service calls or repairs involving R22 Freon, we’ll need to remove all Freon from the unit and install a new supplemental Freon called “NU-22.”

Fortunately, we're less likely to get fried to a crisp the moment we step outside.  Unfortunately, this process will make associated repairs an estimated 2-4 times what they normally are in costs. We’ll essentially be performing a “blood-transfusion” on each of these systems in order to make common repairs and to do something as simple as “add a few pounds of Freon to the system”.


For example, we find a unit low on Freon and need to add 3 pounds to the system; we’ll first have to evacuate all 15 pounds of old R22, and then replace it with “NU-22,” so instead of a service invoice for something around $300, it will run around $900.


Currently, our trigger for quoting replacement RTUs is when the cost to repair is approximately 40-50% that of entire replacement.  With factoring in these Freon conversions, there may be more recommendations for replacement as a result of the inflated costs of repair.



This article has been shared by Direct Service, Construction and Design to specifically accommodate our intended clientele.  The intent of sharing this information is to better inform the public of these general topics, expand knowledge and safety for all and provide crucial information in regard to their MEP and building systems and/or assets. It is NOT our recommendation that any article recommendations or how-to scenarios be attempted by anyone other than a qualified or competent person.