The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified R22 refrigerant – more commonly called Freon – as a hazard to the ozone layer, contributing to its diminishment. As a result, the EPA has ordered the phaseout of R22 starting January 1st, 2020. At that point, it will become illegal to manufacture R22 in the United States, or for foreign companies to import it into the country.
At first, you might think this news does not affect you at all because you don’t even know what R22 or Freon is. But think twice – the air conditioning unit in your home has a pretty high chance of using Freon to function.
What Should You Do in Response to the R22 Phaseout?
Phasing out Freon and preventing future importing and manufacturing does not mean it becomes illegal to possess or use Freon. It doesn’t even become illegal for AC supply stores to sell R22 canisters. In other words, on January 1st of next year, you don’t have to toss out your AC unit and its R22 supply.
But you do need to start seeing about how you can make adjustments so you don’t permanently run out of refrigerant sometime in the future. R22 supplies will only get scarcer as time goes on, and the companies selling it will keep raising the cost, exemplifying the basic economics concept of supply-and-demand. If you keep your AC unit that uses R22, then you can expect regular maintenance will only get more and more expensive each year – up until there is simply no more Freon to buy in your area or the country as a whole.
There are two solutions you can consider to overcome the R22 phaseout:
- Install a new system: The easiest – and probably the best – way to get over the R22 phaseout is simply to buy and install a new air conditioning system. In fact, you don’t even need the absolute latest model. For years now, new AC units have been manufactured to use refrigerant alternatives to Freon in anticipation of the eventual phaseout.
- Retrofit your current system: It might be possible to retrofit your current AC system to use a different refrigerant other than R22. Retrofitting is difficult, though, and not possible for many makes and models.
R22 Phaseout Solutions in Sarasota, Florida
Call (941) 371-3355 to connect with Airrific Air Conditioning and Heating in Sarasota. One of our experienced air conditioning technicians can set up an inspection or maintenance service based on your convenience. During the inspection, we can see if your system needs upgrading, replacement, or retrofitting due to using R22 or not. We make it easy to get ready for the Freon phaseout in 2020!