Everything You Need to Know About the R-22 Freon Ban
By January 1, 2020 Freon will be illegal in the United States. As an essential component of older air conditioning units, many homeowners are wondering how this ban will affect them, so A-TEMP Heating, Cooling, & Electrical has answered some of the most common questions relating to the ban.
What is Freon?
Freon is the brand name of an air conditioner refrigerant called chlorodifluoromethane, more commonly referred to as R-22. Its primary use is as a coolant for air conditioning units, heat pumps and other types of heating and cooling equipment. Most air conditioners manufactured before the year 2003 use freon to cool warm air as it circulates through the unit, and at some point, the chemical will be completely phased out.
Why Was Freon Banned?
In 1974 a researcher at the University of California hypothesized that Freon and other types of chlorodifluoromethane were a significant contributor to the destruction of the ozone layer. Not only was the chemical itself harmful to the environment, but the production also produced some very toxic chemicals that contribute to global warming. After years of research, the Academy of Science determined this was factual, and the United States banned the use of CFCs. Shortly after this national decision was made, a global one followed. The Montreal Protocol, an international environmental agreement, established the phase-out of CFCs in 1987.
What are the Effects of the Freon Ban?
According to the Montreal Protocol, the United States needs to limit our production and consumption of the chemical gradually. As of 2010, the production of Freon for new equipment was halted, so it now is only available for older equipment. However, once we reach 2020 if you need Freon, you will have to get it from recycled products.
The process will be gradual, so if you do have an air conditioning unit that still uses Freon, you have a little bit more time before you need to upgrade your unit. However, you might want to replace it sooner rather than later because, with all of the restrictions on Freon, the price of the refrigerant will likely skyrocket.
If you have more questions or would like information about upgrading your unit to a more modern unit that does not run on Freon, contact the experts at A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical. You can reach us at (503) 694-3396 or by contacting us online!