We’re starting to see temperatures enter the triple-digit territory. With the heat comes an increase in air conditioner usage. If your AC unit uses freon, it might be time to upgrade it…even if it’s only a couple of years old. Why? Because the EPA plans on phasing out all ozone-depleting substances (ODS) next year. That includes the freon used in air conditioners.
Time for an Air Conditioner Upgrade
In January 2010, the EPA began banning the production and import of any items using R22 or R142B chemicals. These were used in cooling down things like air conditioners and refrigerators. However, they were allowed to be used to service any existing products that required them. Five years later, they banned the use of all hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) except to service existing products. Starting in January 2020, a complete ban on the R22 and R142B chemicals goes into effect. They can’t even be used to service any existing product that currently uses it. Instead, these chemicals will be replaced with recycled or stockpiled chemicals. All other HCFCs will be completed phased out by January 2030.
That means that, if your AC unit currently uses freon, it could get much more expensive to fix in the future. As freon supplies get used up, it will be harder to find any, which drives the price up. So, it may be a good idea to upgrade your current air conditioner to a more modern unit. That might hurt your bank account right now. But it could end up saving you money in the long run. How? Modern units require much less energy to run. That’s also a great selling point when you put it on the market in the future. Smart buyers ask about the age of things like the HVAC system.
What About My Refrigerator?
Yes, manufacturers utilized freon to cool down refrigerators for many decades. However, unless you own a fridge built before the 1980s, it should be clear of any freon. Today’s refrigerators use a more ozone-friendly R134A or R438A refrigerant instead.