Preparing your AC unit for the warmer months is crucial before the heat arrives in full force. Many older AC units utilize a recently banned refrigerant known as Freon. With the production of Freon ending in 2020, homes using this refrigerant will need to make changes to comply with the EPA’s standards and regulations.
If you worry about your old AC unit and wonder, “Do they still use Freon in air conditioners?” consider calling a professional HVAC technician. For more information about Freon or concerns about leaks, contact Lubbock’s air conditioning repair experts to stop the leak and inspect your HVAC system.
What Is Freon?
Freon R-22 is a type of refrigerant used in air conditioners to cool the air in your home. A refrigerant changes from liquid to gas during a heat cycle to produce cool air. Freon R-22 was a standard in homes and businesses throughout the US for decades, but as of 2020, the EPA prohibits Freon manufacturing.
A system that uses a heat pump may also rely on Freon as a refrigerant to aid in heating the air in your home. Recycled and reclaimed Freon remains legal for residential and commercial use.
New Freon Regulations
In 2010, the EPA halted the manufacturing of air conditioning units that use Freon. The ban means that if your unit is newer than 2010, it utilizes a different refrigerant that complies with EPA regulations. Freon R-22 harms our ozone layer, causing irreversible damage to the environment.
Old and leaking HVAC units pose a significant threat to our environment as they allow Freon to drip freely. Over time, a small leak can cause substantial damage to the surrounding area and the ozone layer.
Will You Need To Replace Your Older AC Unit?
You can continue to use an older AC unit that uses Freon R-22 refrigerant if it still functions properly. While you may consider partial or total replacement, the EPA does not require you to replace your old AC unit. Ensuring your back yard is free from dangerous Freon leaks will keep your family, pets, and yard healthy.
Additionally, a new AC unit will operate more efficiently than an older one that runs on Freon R-22 refrigerant. Upgrading your old AC unit to a new energy-efficient model that includes central air will increase the comfort of your home while using a more sustainable refrigerant.
Does Your AC Unit Use Freon?
You can determine whether or not your AC unit uses Freon from several key factors. If your AC unit is ten years old, it likely uses Freon as a refrigerant. You can check the label or the user’s manual to determine whether your unit uses Freon.
Different identifying numbers and letters signify that Freon is the primary refrigerant. The term “HCFC-22” or “R-22” indicates that your AC unit uses Freon. Call a professional HVAC company to inspect your unit to determine which refrigerant your AC uses.
Replacement Refrigerant for Freon
With so many options for refrigerant on the market today, finding a replacement refrigerant for Freon that complies with regulations and standards can feel overwhelming.
A standard replacement option for Freon R-22 is R-140A for home refrigerant use. The benefits of switching from Freon to R-140A include the following:
- Compatibility with new AC units
- Cheaper than Freon
- Preserves the ozone layer
- Higher efficiency in absorbing heat and producing cold air
The Cost of AC Replacement
If your old AC unit uses Freon and shows signs of leaking, damage, or inefficient use, it may be time to replace it with a new model. While the EPA does not require homeowners to replace old AC units, you can take steps to comply with laws and avoid the Freon shortage in the future.
Consider retrofitting your old AC unit with new parts that support a new refrigerant. Retrofitting your old unit could involve simply replacing the outdoor AC unit while leaving the indoor components of the HVAC system alone.
Expert HVAC Services in Lubbock, TX
Do they still use Freon in air conditioners? While older AC units may still use this refrigerant, you should either retrofit your old unit to comply with EPA standards or replace your HVAC system with a new model. With the ban on Freon manufacturing in 2020, finding Freon for your older AC unit will become more difficult and expensive.
For questions about your older unit, AC maintenance, or HVAC replacement, trust the experts at On the Double! Heating & Cooling by scheduling a consultation today at 806-203-7483.