Here at Ace Solves It All, we don’t just offer air conditioning and plumbing repair for areas throughout Orlando and beyond. We also keep you in the loop about information and news that can affect you and your home. And after this summer season is over, the national phase-out of Freon, a popular AC refrigerant, will begin. But does this mean that you will need to replace your HVAC system? Let’s take a look.
What Is the Freon Phase-Out?
Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, are chemicals that help keep refrigerators and AC units cool. In 1992, The Environmental Protection Agency decided that these chemicals were harmful to the environment and should be phased out after studies confirmed that they contribute to global warming.
Freon, also called HCFC-22 and R-22, was previously the main refrigerant chemical used in both residential air conditioning and heat pumps. However, the EPA has mandated that Freon production must cease by January 2020. Luckily, many modern AC systems manufactured since 2010 no longer use Freon. Most newer systems use Puron, another refrigerant, but one that is less harmful to the ozone layer. Since 2015, Puron has replaced Freon as the staple refrigerant for residential AC units.
What if You Own an Older AC Unit?
The majority of homeowners that would have been affected by this new regulation are already using refrigerants that are perfectly acceptable under new laws. HVAC professionals started to phase out Freon over eight years ago, and older AC units have generally been replaced since the start of the phase-out. However, Freon is known to be hazardous to the environment if not disposed of safely, so any older AC units that have broken down and need replacing must be replaced by professional technicians.
Freon-based HVAC units do not need to be replaced if they are still functioning correctly. However, starting in 2020, freon will no longer be produced or imported. This means that limited amounts of Freon will be available, and its price will almost certainly increase. With this in mind, now would be the perfect time to speak to a professional from Ace Solves It All to discuss options for upgrading or replacing your AC system.