In the past, air conditioners used chemical refrigerants to function. As the technology has been enhanced we have moved past this method but older models are still out in the world and they have issues where they leak refrigerant or Freon gas.
You may be wondering is Freon gas still used as a refrigerant in air conditioners? We will go over the answer to that question, what makes repairs on these air conditioners so costly, and why you should replace these types of air conditioners right away.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Freon Gas?
To understand the concern over leaks you need to know a little bit about what Freon is. Freon is a brand name given to a group of refrigerant chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons. Their chemical structure is made up of the two main components of carbon and hydrogen but also include chlorine and fluorine.
Since every appliance uses a different combination of these chemicals you can only look at Freon as a whole to understand the health implications of exposure.
Generally, there is only a small risk that exposure would lead to any health concerns. However, if you have a history of heart problems it’s a good idea to stay away from the stuff. Freon has been known to cause cardiac arrhythmias, a slightly irregular heartbeat, which can trigger implanted defibrillators to shock your heart unnecessarily.
At higher concentrations of exposure, Freon can cause full heart palpitations as well.
The Recent Ban on Refrigerant and What It Means For You
On January 1st, 2020, the EPA required all AC companies to cease production of any models that use Freon because it’s bad for the environment.
This means that all air conditioning systems built after that date will no longer use any R-22, or Freon, refrigerants for their operation. But, what if you have a system that still uses it?
If you have an older AC unit that still uses the R-22 Freon and it starts to leak or need repairs it’s going to be in your best interest to replace the whole system with an updated one. If you decide to repair the old unit repairs can be more costly due to the limitations on obtaining the materials to fix the unit.
It would be a more cost-effective solution to replace the unit than face the increased cost, and inefficiency, of repairing the Freon system.
Planning For The Future
If you know you have an AC system that uses R-22 Freon, especially if you’ve had to repair a leak in the past and get it recharged, you should be saving and budgeting for a new replacement installation.
It is an inevitability that your system will break down and you’ll need to install a new AC system to replace it due to the phase-out of R-22.
The good news is that an AC system generally lasts 15 years or more with regular maintenance. So, if you have a Freon system, make sure you have a regular AC maintenance plan to keep the system running well and doing everything you can to avoid a leak.
This will give you more time to plan and save for the eventual replacement.
So, Is Freon Gas Still Used as Refrigerant? The Short Answer is, No But Your System May Still Use It To Run
Make sure to check your AC system to see if yours runs on R-22 Freon gas. As we have said, if it does fall into this category, make sure to stay on top of your routine maintenance to prevent leaks.
Also, start a savings fund to work towards getting a new AC system so that when it inevitably breaks down you’ll be ready. The worst is being surprised with a huge replacement cost that’s unexpected. By planning ahead it won’t throw you for a loop.
Are you unsure if your AC system runs on Freon gas? Do you not currently have a preventative AC maintenance plan? When was the last time you had a professional look at your system?
Now is a great time to have one of our HVAC repair specialists to come to do a diagnostic check on your system. They can advise whether you have a Freon gas system and can also recommend a regularly scheduled maintenance plan to keep your home comfortable for years to come.
Click here to get your free estimate now and schedule an appointment with Veteran’s AC & Heat.