Phasing Out R22 Freon — What It Means For Your Air Conditioner

Homeowners who rely on older air conditioners for home cooling are facing the unpleasant prospect of replacing their cooling systems by the year 2020. These older air conditioners use a type of refrigerant known as HCFC-22, or R22 Freon. However, government regulations concerning environmental emissions and ozone depletion require replacement of R22 Freon with R410a Freon, a less environmentally damaging substance.

Air conditioners that use R22 Freon cannot use the new R410a type, and there is no retrofit or workaround that can enable the older technology to use the newer refrigerant. As a result, the transition from R22 to R410a Freon will mean most air conditioners from the last few decades will need to be replaced.

The new Freon standards were implemented as part of the Clean Air Act, which is enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By the year 2020, R22 Freon will no longer be manufactured.

Between 2012 and 2020, the price of R22 Freon is expected to increase dramatically. As the phase-out deadline nears and available stocks of this refrigerant dwindle, prices are expected to climb even higher. In response, service and maintenance costs will also likely increase. In addition to expecting mounting costs for maintaining their existing air conditioners, homeowners must anticipate the daunting prospect of investing thousands of dollars in a new environmentally compliant cooling system.

To make the best of this situation, those who need to replace their air conditioners should consider it an opportunity to purchase a high-efficiency cooling system. These types of extremely efficient air conditioners tend to be more expensive initially, but they provide significant savings on monthly cooling bills. In many cases, the savings on utility expenses can pay for the new air conditioner by about the halfway point of the unit’s useful life.

For more information on what the new Freon regulations mean to you, for assistance for making the transition to R410aFreon, or for help finding a new air conditioner that meets required environmental standards, contact us today. Air Assurance has over 30 years of experience serving heating and air conditioning customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about R22 freon and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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