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freon 101

Freon 101 Guide

Unless you’re an HVAC professional or just happen to be interested in keeping up with HVAC-related news, you may not know much about Freon. Freon is the brand name for a few different refrigerant gases. This Freon 101 guide will give you a little more information. One of those manufactured gases, R-22, is also known as HCFC-22. It was widely used in home air conditioning units and has an enormously harmful effect on the ozone layer. An EPA phase-out plan, including a manufacturing ban after January 1, 2020, means there is a rapidly dwindling supply of this dangerous coolant. 

In this Freon 101 guide, you will learn how Freon affects homeowners and what to do if your air conditioner uses freon.

How Does the Freon Ban Affect Homeowners?

If your home air conditioning system was manufactured after 2010, the ban is highly unlikely to affect you at all. Most units produced after this time rely on a less-harmful refrigerant known as Puron.

Older units, on the other hand, almost invariably use the now-banned coolant. The EPA ban does not require homeowners to replace existing units outright, but because no new HCFC-22 can be made or imported, it will become difficult and expensive to obtain.

My Air Conditioner Uses Freon; Now What?

You can potentially delay the need to retrofit or replace a system reliant on R-22 while mitigating its effects on the ozone layer with routine and thorough maintenance. Well-maintained units rarely develop major coolant leaks and are less likely to need costly repairs in general.

Still, even the best maintenance can’t prevent every possible leak. While it’s perfectly legal to own and operate a system reliant on Freon, it’s not always going to be the most cost-effective option. It is possible to retrofit an older, Freon-reliant system to accept newer coolants, but it’s rarely the most cost-effective option. 

Conversion will require a total overhaul. That can be almost as expensive as upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient model not reliant on a banned coolant. Even better, a brand-new unit means a full warranty. If you’re not sure what the Freon phase-out means for you or how to decide between retrofitting and replacement, Sure Fire’s expert technicians can help. 

Contact Sure-Fire Inc today to talk through your options.


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