Are the rumors you’ve heard about Freon being phased out true?
Yes, it’s true.
Freon (or R-22) was limited in 1990 by the “Clean Air Act” because of its harmful effects on the ozone. In 2010, it was prohibited for use in new air conditioning equipment.
On January 1, 2020, Freon will be banned from manufacturing and importing.
If your AC unit was made after 2010, you are already using the new, safer R410A refrigerant and the ban will not impact you. If you have an older unit, you cannot just switch to R410A because they are not compatible.
Air conditioning systems have a lifespan of 10-15 years. If you have an older system and it loses its Freon, you will be faced with two options: switch to a new system at a cost of more than $10,000 or pay $200 per pound for Freon while it’s still available. As the supply continues to fall, the price will rise.
You may be able to retrofit your older unit to use an approved refrigerant. This could be simple or incredibly difficult, depending on the chemical and your unit. Some manufacturers will void your warranty if you swap the equipment of their machine. If you’re curious about whether you can retrofit your unit, contact a local HVAC expert.
To keep your older unit running for as long as possible, maintenance is the key.
- Have it inspected by a professional at least twice a year, once for cooling and once for heating.
- Keep your air filters clean to prevent your unit from overworking.
- Clear the compressor of twigs, leaves, and other debris. Keep landscaping at least 3 feet away. Lightly spray your unit with a hose to wash away dust and small bits of debris.
- Clean the coils with a broom or nylon brush, then rinse with a hose.
If you have a home warranty or plan to purchase a home, be sure to check its details to see how it covers the AC unit.
For more information about the Freon (R-22) ban, visit http://bit.ly/335gDQk.