Is Freon Illegal in the U.S.?

Service Today

Last year, the heating & air conditioning industry braced itself for a major shake-up, as consumers across the country began asking, “Is Freon illegal in the U.S.?” It is true that changes to Freon regulations have been in effect since January 1st. However, to say that the substance is “illegal” is extremely misleading.

What to Know About the EPA Freon Ban

While the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) had been warning about the dangers of Freon since the mid-80s, they began to ramp up their efforts to get rid of it in 2010, when it was classified as an “ozone-depleting substance” under the Clean Air Act. In 2015, the government agency began phasing out Freon – known technically as HCFC-22 or R-22 – across the U.S. This was all leading up to the ban on Freon that went into effect on January 1st, 2020. However, the ban on HCFC-22/R-22 only limits the importing and manufacturing of Freon in the United States. That means it is technically still legal to purchase and use the substance. To reiterate, the goal of the EPA was a phaseout, meaning the agency’s plan was to reduce access to the substance over several years in order to incentivize consumers and the heating & air conditioning industry at large to switch to another kind of coolant while U.S. Freon supplies dwindled.

How Will the Freon Ban Affect Me?

If you are currently using a Freon-based air conditioning system, you have several options. First, you could wait until Freon stores in this country completely run out, and then switch to a new system. Second, you could retrofit your old AC system, so that it runs on a substance other than Freon. Third, you could bite the bullet and upgrade to a new AC unit right now. While Service Today! understands that option three might not initially sound the most appealing, it’s actually the choice likely to save you the most money in the long run. Waiting for your old air conditioner to become outdated is just going to increase your cooling bill, as your system will only become less effective over time. And retrofitting your current unit is basically putting a temporary bandage on a permanent wound. Luckily, our heating & air conditioning experts offer quality AC replacement and installation, so you can get a brand new, energy-efficient AC system that doesn’t run on Freon and will last you for years to come.

To find out more about upgrading your AC system, call (888) 998-2032 anytime, or click here to send us a message online.