The US Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the phaseout of R-22 refrigerant for air conditioning systems. The production of R-22 refrigerant systems will not be allowed as of 2010. The new regulations also state the manufacture of R-22 itself must end. The primary reason for these actions is because R-22 contains an ozone-depleting chlorine.
R-410A is recognized by the EPA as a chlorine-free refrigerant and is ozone-friendly.
R-22 refrigerant is still allowed to be used in systems produced before 2010. However, manufacturers are not allowed to make systems utilizing R-22 post 2010. This means the availability of R-22 refrigerant will potentially be in short supply before the last production of R-22 refrigerant in 2020.
The new standard of R-410A refrigerant cannot be retrofitted into systems already using R-22 refrigerant. You can cause the system to malfunction or to be damaged beyond repair.
The Clean Air Act prevents any refrigerant from being vented into the atmosphere. Therefore, the ozone-depleting refrigerant must be recovered and recycled, reclaimed, or destroyed. Until 2020, R-22 will be available (due to supply) for all systems that use R-22 refrigerant for servicing. Currently, there’s no requirement to change R-22 systems over to R-410A.