Will I Need To Replace My Air Conditioner Unit When Freon Is Banned For Good?

Air Conditioner

The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA will force the companies to stop producing and importing Freon or R-22 to the United States in three years’ time. Many air conditioner systems that were manufactured before 2010 use Freon as a cooling refrigerant. Hence, the majority of homeowners are confused as to what they should do with the existing air conditioner unit. Will they have to replace the entire AC system once R-22 is banned for good? Read on to know what you should do with your existing air conditioner system once Freon or R-22 is completely banned in 2020.

The Montreal Agreement was signed to restrict substances that are causing damage to the ozone layer of the planet. R-22 is considered an ozone-depleting substance or ODS. Hence, the authorities planned to phase out the refrigerant over time. The process is planned to be completed by the year of 2020. After 2020, R-22 is completely banned from being manufactured or imported to the United States. But the majority of AC systems are still using R-22 as the main refrigerant. In fact, all the units that were manufactured before 2010 are using this refrigerant. Considering the fact that an HVAC system has a life expectancy of 2-3 decades, what will happen to your HVAC unit once R-22 is completely banned in 2020?

R-22 is manufactured and imported to the United States in a restrictive manner right now. That is due to the requirement of R-22 to operate the existing HVAC systems. In case, you experience a gas leak from the AC unit, you should be able to refill the unit with R-22. Hence, the authorities allow refilling the existing units with R-22. But they don’t manufacture new units with R-22 in this day and age. On the other hand, traders who have stocked R-22 are charging an exorbitant price for a pound of R-22 due to the current supply and demand situation on the market. A wholesale pound of R-22 is costing more than $25 today. It is supposed to increase to $40 very soon. Hence, homeowners who have HVAC systems operating with R-22 experience difficulties in refilling their units when gas leaks occur. In fact, they have to spend a fortune to replace R-22 when a leak occurs. Proper maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of your HVAC unit by preventing unnecessary refrigerant leaks. But you can use your R-22 HVAC unit only for another two years. That is why many homeowners are wondering what their options are when R-22 is completely banned in 2020.

The average homeowner has two options to consider in this regard. The EPA has currently approved several new environmentally friendly coolants – the latest one being R-410A, visit bluon. It is marketed under the brand name Puron. But you can’t just pour Puron into a unit that uses Freon. Puron has a higher work pressure and may damage the condenser and coil of the unit under such circumstances. One option to consider is to convert the R-22 HVAC unit into a unit that uses Puron or R-410A. The conversion should be done by an HVAC professional with extensive experience in the industry. You may have to replace some of the parts of the current system with parts that are compatible with R-410A. The condenser and coil are such parts. Even if you convert the current HVAC system to use R-410A, you can’t expect the same level of performance as before. It may result in higher energy bills and more wear and tear of the unit. Hence, converting your current system to use Puron is not the best option available to you.

The second option is to replace the entire R-22 unit with a new energy-efficient R-410A system. It may seem like the costliest option upfront. But you will save money in the long run. On the other hand, the first option won’t cost you that much upfront, but it will cost you more in the long run since you will have to replace the entire system anyway due to excess wear and tear. Hence, the best option you have is to replace your HVAC system with a new energy efficient unit. It will eliminate the risk of having to spend a fortune for R-22 replacements in two years’ time. Right now, the government is offering incentives to homeowners who are shifting to energy-efficient HVAC systems that are using environmentally friendly refrigerants such as R-410A. In fact, this is the best time to replace your old unit with a brand-new R-410A unit and save on your energy bills in the long run. You are also doing your duty towards the environment since R-410A isn’t affecting the ozone layer of the planet. If you wait until the last moment to replace the system, you may have to incur more money in the process. By 2020, all homeowners will be shopping for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC systems since they cannot use their current R-22 units. The demand for new AC units will increase by such time. The prices will also increase due to the higher demand in 2020. That is why you need to take advantage of the incentives given by the government and replace your existing HVAC unit with a brand-new energy-efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC unit right now. That is the best way to save your hard-earned money in the long run.

Freon or R-22 will be phased out completely by 2020. R-22 is an ozone-depleting substance. Hence, its phasing out has already begun and is to be completed by 2020. Hence, all units that use R-22 should be converted to use R-410A or replaced with a new energy-efficient unit before 2020. The best thing is to replace your old R-22 unit with an energy-efficient unit that uses an environmentally friendly refrigerant such as R-410A. It may seem a costlier option upfront, but you will save a lot of money on your energy bills over time.