Can I Still Get Freon for My Air Conditioner?
Originally published July 2013, updated October 2016
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency along with the environmental agencies of many other nations around the world joined to enact a phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). This phaseout was implemented due to scientific evidence that these substances are harmful to the environment. HCFCs are commonly used in refrigerants and include R-22. Freon is the brand name for refrigerants such as R-22, which for many years, was the popular choice for air conditioning in homes and businesses. R-22 destroys the ozone layer that protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet sun rays. Consumers like those in Macon, Georgia, who own systems that utilize R-22 are left wondering whether their HVAC equipment can still be recharged.
About Chemical Refrigerants
Chemical refrigerants are used in the heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration industry to transfer heat from one area to another. The chemicals are pressurized and moved through multiple series of tubes and coils optimized for heat exchange. R-22 has been used for decades in commercial and residential heat transfer applications. Once it was discovered that Freon causes environmental problems, options such as Puron were provided to take its place.
The R-22 Phase-Out
The phase out of R-22 is taking place over the course of about 20 years. In existing air conditioning systems, R-22 can be used to recharge the equipment until January 1, 2020. Due to the decrease in the supply of R-22, the cost has significantly increased. Homeowners who discover that their air conditioners have a refrigerant leak may end up spending several hundred dollars for a recharge of the system.
Upgrading Your Air Conditioning System
In January 2010, air conditioning system manufacturers stopped producing equipment that utilizes R-22 as the coolant. When a system that uses Freon as the coolant develops a coolant leak or another mechanical or electrical problem, homeowners must make a decision between repair and replacement. As R-22 becomes more expensive and increasingly difficult to obtain, the cost of recharging the system will continue to rise. For many consumers, an AC upgrade is a better economical choice. The newest air conditioning units usually use R-410A (brand name Puron), which is just as efficient at cooling but without the negative environmental effects.
This is the time to start planning for your next air conditioning system. An AC upgrade now could yield lower energy bills and a decreased environmental impact. As your local Warner Robbins, GA, Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, we carry the latest in energy efficient home comfort systems that will keep your home and your wallet comfortable. For more information about recharging your system, give Conditioned Air Inc. a call today at 478-787-6578.