If you have been following along with recent developments in the HVAC industry at all, you may already know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated R22 refrigerant, aka Freon, as a substance which is hazardous to the ozone layer. Because of this, the EPA has ordered that Freon can no longer be manufactured or imported in the U.S. starting January 1st, 2020. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions swirling around the new EPA regulations. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about the Freon ban, and make sure to hire our Sterling HVAC pros at Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for all your air conditioning needs.
What the Freon Ban Actually Means for You
Perhaps the biggest misconception of all about the Freon ban is that it is sudden or new. In reality, the EPA has been trying to phase out Freon from American air conditioning systems for years. The EPA first designated Freon as a harmful substance in the late ‘80s. In 2010, the EPA began more aggressively pursuing restrictions, barring any AC units that use Freon from being imported into the Unites States and ordering chemical manufacturers to cut production of R-22 by 75%. By 2015, they ordered that Freon production be cut by 90%. This is why the coolant has become so expensive in recent years.
However, despite the increased restrictions on Freon and the upcoming ban, it is important to note that Freon remains legal to use in the United States. Although the substance is not eco-friendly, it isn’t as if you will be arrested or have your air conditioner taken away from you if you continue to use Freon. You should, however, be prepared for the substance to only to get more expensive, but for it to be harder to find and purchase as supplies dwindle over the next few years.
What to Do If Your System Still Uses Freon
Essentially, homeowners whose AC systems still use Freon as refrigerant have 2 options. The first is to hire an HAC technician to retrofit your current system, so it can run on another refrigerant. This can be an expensive process, however, and not necessarily cost-effective if your system is old and likely to only last a few more years.
The second option is to install a new AC system altogether. While this may seem expensive, chances are it is more cost-effective than using Freon until the supplies completely run out—at which time you will have no choice but to upgrade to new equipment. The good news is that most modern AC systems are built to last a long time and don’t use Freon, so you will be prepared when it is no longer available at all. Call Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today for quality AC installation and repair, and get the modern, energy-efficient AC unit you deserve. Our HVAC technicians have years of experience, and also provide AC repairs and heating service, so your whole system is taken care of.
Call (703) 457-8676 now for AC upgrades and more, or click here to request an appointment online.