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The Complete Guide to Air Conditioning Refrigerants -| Freon in Air Conditioning (The Freon Ban)

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Main Types of Air Conditioning Refrigerants

There are two main types of refrigerants used in residential air conditioning systems.

  • Freon” otherwise known as R22
  • Puron” which is also known as R-410A

The original Freon refrigerant has caused concern in the heating and air conditioning industry because it has proven chemical properties that make it harmful to the ozone layer. Freon was officially phased out as of January 1, 2020, meaning it is illegal to manufacture Freon in the United States.

The major benefit in converting to Puron since it is NOT as harmful to the ozone.

The Difference Between Puron and Freon in Air Conditioning

  • The disband Freon (R22) cooling agent can be referred to chemically as an (HCFC) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon or HCFC.
  • As for the new EPA approved Puron refrigerant, it can be referred to as or Hydrofluorocarbon or more commonly, HFC.

Did you catch the difference?

Why Puron in Air Conditioning? | (Approved Refrigerant)

The difference between HCFC and HFC is simply the removal of one ‘C’. It causes some confusion but just means the removal of one element, the chemical Chlorine.

This environmental impact, along with enforced government regulations, are why so many homeowners have already converted to the new Puron HFC coolant.

The United States Regulation of AC Freon | Banned Refrigerants – (The Freon Ban)

In 1987 the Montreal Protocol was introduced which regulated future production and importation of older style chlorine-based coolants into the United States market.

This regulation stated that,

“As of January 1, 2020, no new HCFC-22 will be made or imported into the United States, but used HCFC-22 will continue to be available.”

(United States EPA)

BUT…

“People can continue to use air-conditioning (AC) equipment that operates on HCFC-22, EPA does not require homeowners to replace their existing equipment.”

(United States EPA)

This means that if you are already using the older style refrigerant, whether it is a window unit or central HVAC system, you’re not required by law to make any changes to your current equipment.

When to Update AC Refrigerant | (Replacing Freon)

Although you are not required by law to replace your existing system even if it operates on the older freon coolant, often times it can make sense to look into replacement anyways.

Top 3 Factors When Considering Replacing Freon for an Approved Refrigerant:

  • How does your system function currently?
  • Does your equipment need any major repair work?
  • Are you low on refrigerant and it needs a recharge?

Determining if switching makes sense for you really depends on whether or not your current system is still functioning properly, whether or not it needs any major repair work, and/or if your system needs a refrigerant recharge.

Cost Per Pound of Puron VS Freon in Air Conditioning?

The average price per pound of refrigerant can vary significantly by state and vendor but the general range in cost for a refrigerant recharge in 2020 is:

Cost of Freon per pound (R22) = The average pricing ranges from $40 to $180 per pound
Cost of Puron per pound = The average cost of puron refrigerant is $20 to $75 a pound.

The labor cost for a service tech to perform the recharge often outweighs the cost of the refrigerant and can drive the overall price.

Main Reasons for Replacing Freon

  • Large Impact on the Environment
  • Spike in Cost of Freon (Due to Freon Ban)
  • Higher Efficiency of New HVAC Equipment
  • Less Worry from Equipment Failure

The Freon ban has been a long time coming and for good reason. When you are considering whether or not to replace your existing heating and air equipment or continuing to recharge the system, it’s important to realize your overall impact on the world we all live in.

Since the supply for Freon has been completely cut off, the cost for recharging continues to skyrocket which can make switching to newer equipment a more economical choice.

With the 14 SEER Minimum Efficiency Standard (Ref to SEER Page) in place, replacing your older unit with new HVAC equipment can save you a bundle on your electric bill and alleviate the stress of continued system failure.

Contact Today to have your AC Coolant checked or updated with our ‘No-Sting Pricing.’

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