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No Freon in AC by 2020: Frequently Asked Questions About It

No Freon in AC by 2020: Frequently Asked Questions About It

If you pay attention to news related to HVAC systems, or if you have at least recently maintained or repaired your home’s AC unit, then you might have heard word that Freon is not going to be available soon in the United States. Freon is the single most common refrigerant used in air conditioning units across the country. Is it really going to be phased out?

Actually, yes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deemed Freon to be a significantly-contributing factor to the degradation of the o-zone layer in 2010. During that same year, the EPA banned Freon from being used in new systems and placed a ban on Freon manufacturing and importing starting January 1st, 2020.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the Freon phase out you have probably wondered yourself:

  1. When will you no longer be able to buy Freon for your AC unit’s maintenance?
    The exact date that Freon won’t be sold in the United States for HVAC purposes is not known. The EPA only banned its manufacturing and importing, so the answer probably relies on whenever nationwide inventories run out.
  2. What do you have to do if your AC system uses Freon now?
    You have two options: You can buy a new system that does not use HCFC-22 — the industry name for Freon — or you can retrofit your current system to use a different refrigerant instead.
  3. Can you still use your Freon-based AC unit in 2020?
    Absolutely. The EPA is not enforcing any sort of removal of AC units that use Freon, so you can keep using and servicing it. However, eventually that system is going to run out of Freon, rendering it unusable.
  4. Will any systems be able to use Freon in the future?
    The EPA states you can buy and use a “self-contained” AC unit that uses Freon, like a small window unit. But, just like before, it will not be a long-lasting solution as Freon products start to permanently disappear from shelves.
  5. How can you tell if your AC unit uses Freon?
    Look for a manufacturer label somewhere on your air conditioning system. It is typically on the side or under a service panel. If it mentions HCFC-22 or R-22 anywhere on it, then it is a Freon-based unit. Work with an AC technician if you aren’t sure.
  6. What alternatives to Freon are out there?
    Yes, the EPA has a full list of approved refrigerants to replace Freon. R-401A is already used in numerous makes, models, and brands.

Need a New or Upgraded AC Unit in Mandeville?

NU-Air Heating & Cooling, LLC has more than 20 years of industry experience serving residential HVAC units throughout Mandeville and beyond. If you have a Freon-based AC unit, we would be happy to inspect it and help you decide if it should be replaced or retrofitted. Our team of NATE-certified HVAC technicians always look for the most cost-effective solution for our customers. We provide free estimates on replacement jobs, too!

Call us at (985) 288-2445 today to arrange your AC service or Freon-system upgrade.

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