HVA Trends & Solutions for R-22

During 2017 the multifamily industry will continue to transition away from R-22 due to high cost and regional supply limitations. When making decisions for your property please consider the following:


  • R-22 will continue to be available in the summer of 2017 and very likely for the summer of 2018. The concern for multifamily is whether it makes sense to purchase it at the market cost.
  • Since “dry” R-22 condensers have been phased out of production and are no longer available for purchase, the use of R-22 is primarily for existing systems.
  • If a new leak is discovered and fixed, it likely makes sense to top off the system with R-22 rather than evacuate and recharge with an R-22 alternative. This is both cost effective and ensures maximum performance and life spans for existing systems.

R-22 Alternatives

  • Never Mix refrigerants. This creates a new chemical, which is illegal and there is no way of predicting the performance of the “new” refrigerant.
  • When using an alternative refrigerant it is essential to remove all of the existing refrigerant, flush the system and recharge with the new refrigerant.
  • There are a number of R-22 alternative refrigerants. None of them work as well as R-22 or R-410A (This is why the HVAC industry moved to R-410A rather than one of the many drop-in alternatives)
  • The R-22 alternatives each have different characteristics, limitations and performance factors, please visit with your Century A/C rep to determine which one will work best for your situation.
  • If using an R-22 alternative it might make sense to purchase digital gauges designed for that refrigerant. This can minimize performance deficits by optimizing charging. The gauges are an additional expenditure, however, when considering the cost of R-22, they will more than pay for themselves in a short time.


  • R-410A is the refrigerant chosen by the HVAC industry to replace R-22. It is reliable and has great cooling results (heat transfer). However, it requires that the inside evaporator coil be changed when replacing the outside condenser. Although more expensive in the short run, this is the best value in the long run.


  • In 2017 and 2018 there is a condenser designed to work with R-407C available on the market. It is more robust than an R-22 condenser, and will work with existing evaporators.
  • R-407C is a cost effective alternative to R-22 and having a condenser designed to work with R-407C ensures that there are no performance shortfalls as can be experienced when replacing only the refrigerant in R-22 condensers.
  • The long term fate of R-407C condensers is still being determined, however, the R-407C refrigerant is not in danger of being phased out any time soon.