Refrigerant Supply

HCFC Refrigerants

R-22 Most Commonly Used in Commercial Refrigeration and Residential/Commercial Comfort Cooling Equipment
While R-22 remains available for servicing equipment made before Jan. 1, 2010, it is important to understand that supplies of R-22 will become more limited. To help mitigate this impact, contractors should send refrigerant they remove from an existing system to a reclaimer who will reclaim the refrigerant to restore it to a purity level that meets AHRI 700 Standard purity specifications. This reclaimed refrigerant can then be reused to charge other existing R-22 systems and help maintain virgin R-22 refrigerant supplies.

Other HCFCs and HCFC-Containing Refrigeration Blends  
While R-22 is the most commonly used HCFC refrigerant, all HCFCs are subject to phaseout under the U.S. Clean Air Act, some with extended phaseout dates. HCFC 142b, which is used in some refrigerant blends, will be phased out on the same schedule as R-22. HCFC-123, which is used in some centrifugal chillers, cannot be manufactured or imported for use in new equipment beginning on Jan. 1, 2020.  From Jan. 1, 2020 until Jan. 1, 2030, new HCFC-123 can be only be used in equipment manufactured prior to Jan. 1, 2020.  After Jan. 1, 2030, only recycled and reclaimed HCFC-123 or stockpiled quantities will be available to service existing equipment.

HFC Refrigerants
Numerous HFC refrigerants, and their blends, are available as replacements for CFC and HCFC refrigerants.  EPA regulations require that manufacturers qualify replacement refrigerants under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program.  Some of the more commonly used HFC refrigerants are R-134a, R-404A and R-410A.  Access EPA’s complete listing of approved HFC refrigerants.