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Refrigerant Phaseout 2020: Everything You Need to Know

The term “Freon” has become a household name in most areas of the country. That’s not a coincidence: this type of refrigerant has been associated with air conditioners for decades. The problem is, as we’ve grown more environmentally conscious in the last 10 to 20 years, we’ve realized that Freon is an incredibly toxic, ozone-depleting material that has escalated the degradation of the environment.

While there are some tradeoffs for this if the material provides useful for HVAC in Westlake, OH, the difference here is that there is an alternative refrigerant that functions just as well (often better) called R-410A that is thousands of magnitudes less harmful to the environment than Freon. Legislation was passed to limit the amount of Freon used, and as of January 1st of this year, production and import of R-22 (Freon’s industry name) has been completely halted.

So what does this mean for you? Keep reading and we’ll tell you.

The January 1st Deadline

Before you panic, we’d just like to remind you that the January 1st, 2020 deadline is not for homeowners who still use their R-22 air conditioner, although it could tangentially affect them. No, this deadline is only the hard cutoff point for the production and import of Freon.

That means from the first of the year onward, R-22 prices are going to rise tremendously since the stock will be limited and only taken from existing stockpiles. So if you’ve got an older air conditioner that runs on R-22, you’ve still got time to switch over to a system that uses the more environmentally friendly and (soon to be) cheaper refrigerant R-410A.

Maintenance and Repairs on Old Systems

This is where things get difficult for homeowners. While many homeowners might be getting ready to start up their 15-year-old air conditioners to run for another summer, they might be completely oblivious to the Freon that’s circulating through it. All it takes is one small refrigerant leak, and repair costs could skyrocket due to the limited stock of R-22. So if you’re an owner of an old air conditioner that runs on this older refrigerant, don’t be surprised when your repair costs are estimated to be through the roof.

Get a Replacement Today

Funny enough, now is the best time to get an air conditioner replacement. The price of a great air conditioner that runs on R-410A that’s also efficient and environmentally friendly is fairly affordable right now. Your ancient AC unit that you’re scared to get rid of might be sucking twice as much energy as a highly-efficient, newer AC system.

That means there are a ton of newer models that could be perfect for you and your budget available today. Not only that, but if they ever suffer a refrigerant leak, you can rest easy knowing that the refrigerant isn’t as harmful to the environment as it once was—and you won’t be paying an arm or a leg for a recharge.

Before summer rolls around, call our team at Westland Heating & Air Conditioning for expert AC replacement services today!

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