Here’s the news you may have heard of: starting this next calendar year, Freon is going to be illegal to import or to manufacture in the US.
Freon also goes by “R-22” and it is the most common refrigerant in residential air conditioners across the US. In other words, for decades this is what has been using in families’ HVAC systems.
As a result, you may be wondering—what does this regulation mean for my home’s heating and cooling system? And also: what do you need to do, if anything, in the coming months to prepare if you’re still using a R-22 heating and cooling system?
Thanks to Trane, we’re here to give you some answers to your top questions.
The Big Picture: What the R-22 Phase Out Means
Despite being the former industry-standard, as described, Freon is being phased out. That’s because of the harmful effects of Freon on the ozone layer. Said another way, after that R22 refrigerant phase out, it can no longer be manufactured or even imported into our country.
What the R-22 Phase Out Means For You Personally
In simple terms, if your unit is working as it should, your Freon level shouldn’t change. But if you have a repair or if you have some sort of leak, obviously replacing the Freon would not only be complex and difficult, but it would b expensive and probably ill-advised.
A Quick Way to See If Your AC Uses R-22
So does the change impact you? It depends! The first step is to see if your unit uses R-22 or not. If it does, don’t fret, but realize that at some point in the future, replacement for the Freon will be hard, and more expensive.
Remember, if you have a new HVAC system you’ve purchased since 2010, you should be fine and won’t have to worry about the change.
However, if you have an older system, you can check your unit and you can always ask us when we’re doing your seasonal tune-up. You’ll be looking for the sticker on the side of the unit. If you see “HCFC-22 or R-22” then you are going to have a unit that does in fact use the R-22 that is being phased out.
At some point, an upgraded model may make sense, but that’s if (and only “if”) those costly repairs come. Otherwise, unless you wanted to proactively upgrade anyway, your unit should be fine, and you shouldn’t worry until the ROI is there to invest in a new unit.
The Future of Coolant
There still is coolant that is legal, of course! And yes, there is coolant that is considered acceptable, no matter the age of your HVAC. As just one example, all Trane units manufactured after 2010 use R-410A, so many people with newer models don’t even have to worry about the change.
Greater Comfort is Here for All Your Heating & Cooling Needs
We’re here to help you. If you have any questions or concerns with your HVAC, reach out to us. We’re here to help you know more about your current system and what to do if you feel you need to replace your older system with a newer, more efficient system.
Greater Comfort has installed, maintained and repaired more than 35,000 HVAC systems—and counting! Call us 24/hours a day at 859-491-4915 or contact us here through our website.
Source of the content used directly in this post:
Find the source of this blog here on Trane’s residential resource blog. Thanks to Trane for allowing us to re-purpose their content.