For a long time now, R22 refrigerant has been considered harmful and is slowly been faded out and replaced in the newer models with R410a refrigerant, but by 2020 the R22 is going be illegal and that means that old mini splits will need to be replaced at home.
Why is it being discontinued?
The reason is environmental. R-22 has serious environmental risks. The leaks in A/C compressors contribute to the release of hydrochloroflourocarbons (HFCF’s) into the air. This deplates the ozone layer and contributes to what we call greenhouse warming.
What happens if I have R-22?
After it becomes illegal, systems become obsolete and can no longer be repaired if the repair requires to add refrigerant to they system. Except for some electrical issues, most of the repairs require the addition of refrigerant.
What should I do?
Replacement is the best option for you. Why it may seem an expensive choice, in the long rong it becomes most economical than trying to fix and obsolete equipment.
You should also know that R-22 units and R410a are not compatible. The parts on each equipments are not interchangeables despite why other may tell you.
Why is R410a better?
This units are more efficient, it can even come to double the efficiency of an old unit. Also the considerably reduced environmental impact.