Under the U.S. Clean Air Act on substances that deplete the ozone layer, the EPA is phasing out the production and import of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) to protect the ozone layer. By phasing out the production of ozone-depleting substances like HCFCs, homeowners and HVAC contractors are reducing the risk of skin cancer caused by exposure to UV radiation. In addition, many of these ozone-depleting substances are greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.


Steve’s Plumbing and Heating is committed to maintaining a safe environment in the home and in our communities. We can replace your old air conditioning system with a new unit that reduces or eliminates the number of HCFCs that hurt the environment.


If you are ready to install a new system in your home, then contact Steve’s Plumbing and Heating Today.

Harmful Substances in Your AC System

Ozone-depleting substances include:


●        Fluorocarbons

●        Halons

●        Carbon tetrachloride

●        Methyl bromide

●        Methane

●        Methyl chloroform


These harmful substances degrade under intense ultraviolet light in the stratosphere. When they break down, they release harmful atoms, which then deplete the ozone layer.




What is the HCFC-22 Phase-Out?

Commonly referred to as R-22, HCFC-22 is used as a refrigerant in many applications, including residential air conditioning (AC) systems. Starting on January 1, 2020, U.S. production and import of HCFC-22 will end, but you may continue to use HCFC-22 in your existing system for as long as necessary. HCFC-22 that is removed from your home, along with HCFC-22 produced prior to 2020, will help meet the needs of your home and keep you safe from harmful substances.


Manufacturers and HVAC technicians must play a role in recovering or eliminating the toxins from all air conditioning systems. The EPA and other government agencies are continuing to develop strategies to impose the phase-out. The U.S. must incrementally decrease HCFC consumption and production, culminating in a complete HCFC phase-out by 2030. HCFC usage must be reduced to at least 90 percent below baseline levels and at least 99.5 percent below baseline levels by 2020.


The phase-out will include the following stages of HCFC-22 production and distribution:


●        Identification in all air conditioning products and systems

●        Manufacturing

●        Sales and distribution

●        Installation and replacement

●        Recycling, handling, and disposal

What You Can Do to Help Reduce HCFC-22

As a homeowner, you can also play a role in the reduction of HCFC-22 gas emissions. By asking your Steve’s Plumbing and Heating service technician to check for leaks and perform preventive maintenance, you can help keep your refrigerant emissions down and reduce the need to purchase additional HCFC-22.


Although air conditioning equipment generally runs most efficiently on the type of refrigerant it was designed for in your home, the time will come to replace or retrofit your system. There are currently many non-ozone-depleting alternatives available. So, when the time comes to repair or replace your HVAC unit, you can request alternatives to HCFC-22 refrigerant or other components.


Many non-ozone-depleting alternatives to HCFC-22 are available. There is a wide range of common non-ozone-depleting alternatives that are acceptable under EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program. Some of these alternatives are for new residential AC systems, while others are for use in both new and retrofitted residential AC systems.

Residential HVAC Repair and Replacement Services

If you are ready to upgrade the old HVAC system in your home, contact Steve’s Plumbing & Heating today. We offer HVAC repair, replacement, and ongoing maintenance for homeowners in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.


To schedule service, call us at 715-421-1800, or you can message us on our contact page.