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The Phasing Out of R-22 Freon

Is your air conditioner more than ten years old? If so, keep reading. At the end of 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is implementing a change that will affect your cooling system and potentially your wallet.

The most common refrigerant for older air conditioners, freon (also referred to as R-22 or HCFC-22), is being phased out the federal government. The phase-out began in the 1980s with the Montreal Protocol and took a huge step forward in 2010 when it became illegal to use R-22 in newer units. R-22 contains ozone-depleting chemicals, including chlorine, so it will be replaced with a more eco-friendly alternative.

If you have an older unit, you won’t need to replace your air conditioner for a newer model or stop using freon. The switch to ozone-friendly coolants has been happening gradually, giving homeowners time to upgrade their air conditioners. However, beginning in 2020 it will be illegal to manufacture or import freon, the only coolant option will be recycled coolant for the air conditioning units. As this recycled coolant is phased out, supplies will become limited and ultimately more expensive.

The hard truth is that if you currently have a pre-2010 air conditioner that uses R-22, you will eventually have to get a new system or retrofit your current system to meet EPA standards. If you have a post-2010 unit, your air conditioner is unaffected by these changes.

Understanding the new EPA regulations can be a challenge. Contact the experts at Pioneer Heating & Air Conditioning with any questions or to schedule an appointment. We can diagnose your current system and recommend the best solution for you and your air conditioning unit.


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