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Is Freon Banned in the United States?

The 2020 Freon ban, officially known as the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule 20, marked a significant milestone in environmental regulations. It phased out the importing and manufacturing of R-22, the refrigerant more commonly known as Freon, due to its harmful impact on the ozone layer and contribution to global warming.
While this has understandably caused many homeowners to assume that Freon is effectively banned in the United States, the reality is a bit more complicated.

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. That year, it was first discovered that the coolant releases chemicals harmful to the ozone layer. In 2010, the EPA began to ramp up its efforts to lessen 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, with the ban officially going into effect on January 1, 2020.
However, although Freon is no longer manufactured or imported in the U.S., operating your Freon-based AC system is now legal. 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. 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?

As of right now, this choice remains up to you. However, it is possible that your Freon AC system will be outlawed in the future. Deciding if you want to replace your AC system now or possibly in the future is a consideration. Other factors to consider include the age and condition of your current system, the availability and cost of Freon refrigerant, and your long-term cooling needs.
In reality, HVAC users whose units still run on Freon have three options with the EPA ban in effect:
  • Wait as long as possible until they are forced to switch to a non-Freon AC system.
  • Retrofit their current air conditioner to run on a coolant other than Freon.
  • Install a new, energy-efficient AC system now.
At Wallner Plumbing Heating & Air, we recommend option three. While upgrading your current system may last a while, installing a new one will likely 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 more significant cooling relief and save yourself a lot of hassle in the future.

Replace Your Freon HVAC System With Wallner

Wallner Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning is not just a business; we're a family-owned and operated company committed to delivering top-tier service. Our dedication to our customers is matched only by our commitment to professional growth that benefits our clients, employees, and the community we serve.
We offer comprehensive services, focusing on residential and light commercial needs, including plumbing, heating, and air conditioning maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Additionally, we specialize in spa and hot tub repair, water filtration, and conditioning services, ensuring your home's comfort and functionality.
If you're interested in replacing your Freon AC System, contact our Redding HVAC pros for AC installations and replacements now at (530) 223-5622, or just click here to message us online.