r22 freon phase out

The R-22 Freon Phase Out in Ocean County, NJ

If your Ocean County, NJ, home’s air conditioner is over ten years old, it may use R-22 Freon refrigerant. If so, it’s time to consider replacing the air conditioner with a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly option. The planned R-22 Freon phase-out reached the final stage in 2020, meaning that it may not be possible to repair your existing air conditioner if it develops a refrigerant leak. 

To learn more about the complete phase-out of R-22, check out these insights from Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning, the most experienced HVAC contractors in Ocean City, NJ. Once you know the facts, call us for an estimate on a new HVAC unit that can help protect the ozone layer and reduce cooling costs.

What is R-22 Freon?

For decades R-22 was the most common type of refrigerant used in air conditioners in the United States. Although it is non-flammable, non-toxic, and efficient, it has one major drawback: R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), a type of gas associated with ozone depletion and global warming. 

In the 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency included R-22 Freon in a list of 34 HCFC gases to phase out by 2020. This means that as of January 1, 2020, it is illegal to produce or import R-22 Freon. All air conditioners and refrigerant systems manufactured since 2010 have an alternative coolant, most likely R-410A

Under the terms of the R-22 phase-out, HVAC technicians can use reclaimed or recycled R-22 Freon to repair or recharge air conditioners made before 2010. However, because of a limited supply of reclaimed Freon and the high costs of using the gas, most professionals recommend switching refrigerants or investing in a new air conditioner when older equipment requires repairs. 

What Ocean County, NJ, Residents Can Do About Refrigerant Leaks 

If you have an older HVAC unit that contains R-22, local technicians can continue to service it. Professional maintenance from a reliable service contractor is the best way to ensure that the unit remains in good condition, reducing the potential for environmental damage and operational costs. 

Some technicians may try to “top off” refrigerant levels, even if they suspect a leak. Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning does not recommend this practice. Any leaks in the refrigerant system need repairs to prevent harm to the environment.

If we find a Freon leak in your Ocean County air conditioner, it may be possible to repair the damage and retrofit the refrigerant with a more environmentally friendly option. The law requires technicians to reclaim the remaining R-22 Freon; intentionally releasing R-22 Freon into the atmosphere is illegal.

Buying a New Air Conditioner 

Although the R-22 Freon phase-out does not require replacing air conditioners that use the gas, investing in a new HVAC unit may be the best option. In most cases, homeowners should plan to replace an HVAC unit made before 2010 if it develops a problem with the refrigerant system. Most air conditioners have a lifespan of about ten to 15 years, and one that contains R-22 Freon gas is likely nearing the end of its useful life. 

New air conditioners use alternative refrigerants. The most common refrigerant, R410-A, meets Energy Star requirements for efficiency. An Energy Star-qualified air conditioner is at least 14% more efficient than other options, which reduces power usage and your bill.

If your current air conditioner isn’t working as well as expected or if the cost to cool your home is too high, Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning can help you select and install a new system. In addition to the type of refrigerant in the unit, factors to consider when deciding to invest in an upgraded air conditioner include your current system’s:

  • Age
  • Reliability
  • Cost to run
  • Repair costs
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Performance 

Get a Free Quote for a New Air Conditioning System from Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning 

Replacing an old or outdated air conditioner with a new, energy-efficient model can help reduce your energy costs and protect the ozone against damage. As the leading AC installation contractors in Ocean County, NJ, Eastern Shore Heating and Air Conditioning is the go-to source for affordable, high-quality HVAC unit replacement, repairs, and maintenance. We can answer all your questions about the R-22 Freon phase-out and how it affects you.

To schedule a consultation and get an estimate for a new air conditioner, fill out the online form or call us at (732) 800-9416. Learn more about how we can help today.