R-22 isn't all that "environmentally unfriendly"...
Posted Jul 17, 2012 8:30 AM
It's got a little Chlorine in it (HCFC) but it'll still be legal for a long time - 2032 is the phase-out IIRC.
Where it will help is in the Seasonal Efficiency of the new units - but if you don't have the money to change out the unit in the first place, the savings don't matter. If you have to finance the work, that just sucked up the savings.
Just be glad they didn't get draconian, you can use something totally benign like CO2 as refrigerant - but it's a total and very costly re-engineering of the entire system, the operating pressures are a whole lot higher.