If you are concerned about how the new regulations from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) may affect your air conditioning system, you are not alone. In recent months, HVAC industry professionals have been doing everything they can to prepare for the 2020 Freon ban. However, while the EPA rules surrounding the sale and importing of Freon will change starting January 1st of next year, there are also a lot of misconceptions swirling around regarding what consumers can and can’t do. Keep reading to learn whether you will be affected by the 2020 Freon ban, and make sure to call our South Florida AC experts at Cousin’s Air, Inc. for all your air conditioning needs.
What to Know About the 2020 Freon Ban
Although the EPA’s formal ban on the sale of the refrigerant HCFC-22/R-22, more commonly known as Freon, will begin in 2020, the government agency has been trying to get rid of it for several decades. The EPA first classified R-22 as an ozone-depleting substance all the way back in the 1980s. In 2010, the EPA intensified its efforts to ban substances that are harmful to the ozone layer, and barred the manufacture and installation of new air conditioners powered by Freon under the Clean Air Act. In 2015, the agency began its phaseout on the production and importation of the substance itself, with the full ban set to go into effect on January 1st of next year.
However, while manufacturing and importing new Freon in the U.S. will become illegal in 2020, it is important to note that the sale and use of Freon will continue to be legal. To reiterate, the EPA’s mission is a gradual phaseout of R-22. This is why they took steps to disincentivize the use of Freon over the past few years, before banning it outright. Therefore, if your AC still runs on R-22, you will still be able to buy and use Freon until the current supply in the U.S. runs out.
Options for Homeowners with Freon-Based AC Systems
If you are currently still using an AC unit that runs on Freon, you have several options. The first is just to keep using the system you have until U.S. stores of Freon run out entirely and you are forced to replace your equipment. The second is to retrofit your current system, so it runs on a coolant other than Freon. The third and final option is to upgrade to a new system now, saving you from having to replace your current air conditioner in the near future.
Our South Florida AC technicians suggest option three. Waiting to make a change until current supplies of Freon run out is just putting off the inevitable, while retrofitting your system is only a temporary solution, which may be less cost-efficient in the long-run than simply replacing your AC unit now. Fortunately, Cousin’s Air, Inc. offers AC installation for a range of equipment, allowing you to get a modern, energy-efficient air conditioning system that may even save you money on repair and operation costs over time.