R22 refrigerant, also known as Freon, has been the HVAC industry standard refrigerant used in the manufacture of central air conditioning systems. Because R22 refrigerant contributes to depleting the ozone layer, the U.S. government has enacted a policy requiring that air conditioners and heat pumps no longer use R22 refrigerant. If your existing AC system has R22 refrigerant, it can be serviced and, if necessary, recharged up to January 1, 2020. However, after January 1, 2020, refrigerant manufacturers must cease all production of R22 refrigerant completely. If you are purchasing a new air conditioning system today, consider one that uses the more environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant.