If your air conditioner was manufactured before 2010, there’s a good chance that it’s using Freon. Freon (a.k.a. R-22, chlorodifluoromethane, or difluoromonochloromethane) is a colorless gas that’s commonly used as a refrigerant.
When Freon is added to your AC, temperature, and pressure change its state from liquid to vapor and vice versa. This phase change allows the refrigerant to absorb heat from the indoor coil and release heat at the outdoor coil. Simply put, it helps keep your home cool by removing heat in the air.
Although R-22 plays a vital role in your air conditioning system, it’s quickly being phased out. The number one reason behind this is the fact that this substance is depleting the ozone layer.
As such, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has created a timeline to gradually phase out Freon from the United States. The timeline is as follows:
Production and import of R-22 are completely banned. However, it can be used for ongoing servicing needs of plants and equipment that use it.
The sale and use of R-22 are completely banned. However, there’s an exception for certain cases like servicing the needs of existing AC systems and refrigeration.
Production of R-22 drops to 30% from 2017 supply to 9 million pounds.
Production of R-22 drops to 55% from 2018 supply to 4 million pounds.
Production and import of R-22 will be completely banned. It also won’t be available for servicing needs.
Even though you still have a few years before Freon becomes inaccessible, it’s smarter to upgrade your AC to a newer model immediately. Due to the phase-out, the supply of R-22 is running out and refilling your refrigerant will get expensive.
Fortunately, there are many air conditioning models on the market today that can keep your indoor climate pleasant without the need for Freon. You can also retrofit your old system to use a new refrigerant, but this process doesn’t work for every system.
If you need help looking for a new AC, don’t hesitate to contact Air Solutions Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric for help. Our company has been in the HVAC business since 1997, so we have the experience to know which units match your cooling needs and your budget. We also offer top-notch AC repair, installation, and maintenance in Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma so give us a call at (918) 241-2362 today.