Freon Phaseout in Plano, TX
Is your air conditioner older and still using Freon? If so, you may be unaware that as of January 2020, the ozone-depleting substance was completely phased out due to new regulations set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Contact Aire Texas Heating & Air Conditioning with any questions about the Freon and R-22 phase-out or if you would like to know the status of your air conditioning system. Call us today at (972) 734-1791.
What is Freon?
Freon is a non-combustible gas trademarked for R-22 refrigerant. It is the refrigerant that is used in older air conditioning units, including central air systems. Freon (R-22) circulates inside the AC unit by switching between gas and liquid forms to cool your home.
Why is Freon Being Phased Out?
Although it is effective as far as air conditioning refrigerants go, Freon is also bad for the ozone layer and has high global warming potential when it’s released into the environment. When Freon refrigerant is released into the atmosphere, it reacts with the sun’s ultraviolet rays, contributing to ozone depletion. Chlorine atoms are then released, which causes a chain reaction breaking down the oxygen molecules that make up the earth’s ozone layer. The ozone layer keeps dangerous ultraviolet rays from reaching the planet’s surface. As such, Freon has been classified as an ozone-depleting substance (ODS).
How Do I Know if My System Uses Freon?
There is usually a white manufacturer’s label found on the outside of the condenser unit of your central air conditioning system. If you have a central AC unit that was manufactured in 2015 or later, you’re probably in the clear. The last manufacture date of air conditioners that use R-22 was December 2014. All new air conditioning units are manufactured to use R-410A refrigerant, a more environmentally-friendly refrigerant.
Your manufacturer’s label should also show the refrigerant type, which will be essential for making a service call. You know you have Freon if your label says R-22 or HCFC-22. If your unit has R-410A then you have a modern replacement. There are other types of replacement refrigerant, however, these are the most common.
Do I Need To Get a New Air Conditioner If Mine Still Uses Freon?
There is no need to replace your air conditioner immediately if it still uses Freon. There aren’t any laws prohibiting the use of an R-22 system. If your air conditioner is working well, you don’t need to worry about the type of AC refrigerant.
However, if your AC unit develops a leak, the only option to recharge the existing refrigerant is to find an HVAC technician with access to the supply of Freon that is currently existing. You may decide to replace your Freon-using HVAC system if it’s near the end its life cycle. A typical lifespan of a central air conditioner is between 12 and 17 years.
If older air conditioners aren’t working well or have recently needed several repairs, the better option may be replacing them.
Benefits of Installing a New Air Conditioning Unit
You can reap many benefits when updating your HVAC system. Some of the benefits homeowners will find when installing a new HVAC systems in their home include:
Greater energy benefits and cost savings are some of the greatest outcomes of installing a new air conditioning unit. New air conditioners have greater technology, a higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), and more cooling capacity to fit the proper home. These energy efficient benefits save a significant amount on your energy costs.
Your home will be cooled easier and quicker with a new air conditioner. If your home is not cooling like it used to, and you have done the maintenance needed, it may be time to purchase a new unit.
You and your family could be in danger of harmful bacteria and mold if your air conditioner is not working properly or is outdated. While the main benefit of having an air conditioner is the cooling capability and the ability to save money with lower energy bills, they also play an important role in treating indoor air quality. A new air conditioner can help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, decrease mold and mildew, and ultimately help everyone feel more comfortable.
Increased Home Value
Even if you are not planning on selling your home in the near future, a new HVAC unit can increase the value of your home. Buyer’s will be put off from buying your home if you have an old, broken air conditioner in poor condition. Maintaining and updating your unit can keep the value of your home in a good place and prepare for a more comfortable environment for you and your family.
Questions About the Freon Phase-Out? Contact the Plano HVAC Experts at Aire Texas Today
Do you have questions or concerns about whether your residential air conditioner still uses Freon and what that means for your? Contact us today! Our Plano HVAC experts are here to help you with any questions you may have about the Freon phase-out. Call us at (972) 734-1791 or complete our online intake form for a free Freon test to determine the status of your air conditioning system.
What You Need to Know
As of January 1, 2020:
- The Freon/R-22 phaseout will be complete.
- Contractors already have very limited access to R-22 supplies.
“Will I Need a New Air Conditioner?”
Not necessarily right away. Following the phase-out date, if your system still has Freon/R-22 in it, it can use recycled product should it need a refill (recharge).
That is, if the product is available to local contractors. It can be less expensive in the long run to upgrade your air conditioner to a more efficient model now rather than relying on the availability of recycled refrigerant. Otherwise, your options include:
- Doing nothing until your system needs a repair.
- Retrofitting/converting your old R-22 equipment to use an existing refrigerant.
“Why Is This Change Being Made?”
EPA regulations have been issued under Sections 601-607 of the Clean Air Act to phase out the production and import of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The U.S. phaseout is reducing the amount of ODS that can be legally produced or imported into the country.
New air conditioning units use R-410A refrigerant, reducing the impact on the environment. These newer systems use far less energy, provide cost savings to homeowners through maintenance and electric costs, and offer a green alternative to R-22 based units.
The best time to switch to a new air conditioner is before you’re hit by the costs of repairing an R-22 based system! If you’ve been considering an air conditioner upgrade, speak with Aire Texas Residential Services, Inc today, and look for the Energy Star® label on your new system.
If you have any questions about the Freon and R-22 phaseout or would like to know the status of your air conditioning system, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.