R-22 is a type of refrigerant. Refrigerant is used in your cooling system to remove heat from the air cycling through the system. This cool air is then pushed back into your home while the heated air is expelled outside from the outdoor condensing unit. The current refrigerant that exists in almost all a/c units five years or older is R-22 refrigerant. It is being phased out by the EPA for environmental safety reasons. The limited production has increased the cost tremendously. The cost per pound of refrigerant has increased 33% in just the last few months.