The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that as of 2020, the importing and manufacturing of R-22, the refrigerant more commonly known as Freon, will be barred in the U.S. However, while this has caused many homeowners to assume that Freon is effectively banned in the United States, the reality is a bit more complicated. Read on to find out what you need to know about the 2020 Freon ban, and make sure to hire our Redding HVAC techs at Wallner Plumbing Heating & Air for all your heating and AC needs.
Will I Be Able to Use My Air Conditioner After the Freon Ban?
Although the EPA’s recent changes to Freon regulations have made headlines, the government agency has been warning consumers about R-22 since 1987, when it was first discovered that the coolant releases chemicals that are harmful to the ozone layer. In 2010, the EPA began to ramp up its efforts to tamper Freon use in American households under the Clean Air Act, instituting a mandate that all new air conditioning systems must be manufactured to run on refrigerants other than R-22. In 2015, they began the official phaseout of all Freon manufacturing and importing, set to officially go into effect on January 1st, 2020.
However, although Freon will no longer be manufactured or imported in the U.S. starting next year, that does not mean it will be illegal to operate your Freon-based AC system. The new EPA rules still allow you to purchase and use Freon, with the understanding that the supply of this substance will eventually run out. Essentially, the ban is designed to incentivize consumers to switch to non-Freon AC systems sooner rather than later.
Should I Upgrade My AC System or Install a New One?
HVAC users whose units still run on Freon will have 3 choices once the EPA ban goes into effect: 1) Wait as long as possible until they are forced to switch to a non-Freon AC system. 2) Retrofit their current air conditioner so it runs on a coolant other than Freon. Or 3) Install a new, energy-efficient AC system now.
At Wallner Plumbing Heating & Air, we recommend option 3. While upgrading your current system may last you awhile, installing a new one is likely to be more cost-effective in the long-run. Plus, with our mini-split air conditioning systems, you can get AC equipment that works better and lasts longer. Call us today to enjoy greater cooling relief and save yourself a lot of hassle in the future.
You can contact our Redding HVAC pros for AC installations and replacements now at (530) 223-5622, or just click here to send us a message online.