Many homeowners in Austin and throughout central Texas haven’t given much thought to the quickly approaching phaseout of R-22 refrigerant, also referred to as Freon.  Maybe you aren’t even certain whether your AC system uses this type of refrigerant.  Why does it matter?  Come January 1, the production and importation of R-22 will be illegal in the country due to its harmful impact to the ozone layer.  Our HVAC professionals want to help you understand what’s happening so you can be better prepared.

R-22 refrigerant is found in older air conditioners, many of them still in use today.  If you aren’t certain about the type of refrigerant your cooling system uses, a Freon test is simple and will give you the answer as to whether it’s the type used in your system.

What happens if your air conditioner does in fact operate using R-22?  The Freon that has been produced up to January 1, 2020 will still be used, however prices will soar due to limited supply.  This means if your system has a refrigerant leak, you will pay significantly more to have it replaced.  Eventually, there will be no R-22 refrigerant left.

What then?

If your AC system does use Freon, you will be left to decide whether to upgrade to a new cooling system, or keep using your current one until it needs repairs.

  • Upgrade to a new AC. If your cooling system operates using R-22, it’s probably at least 10 years old.  The use of Freon was banned in new HVAC systems in 2010, and the majority of new AC systems use R410A refrigerant.  When your HVAC system is 10 or 15 years old, it’s not going to operate as efficiently as it once did.  Considering the rising costs of Freon, it’s more cost-effective to replace your AC system now rather than later.
  • Wait it out until your old AC system breaks down. We know new AC units aren’t cheap, and that most homeowners would rather not spend a lot of money until it’s absolutely necessary.  However, an old system needing costly repairs will only cost you more in the long run, as you will eventually have to replace it.  Combining rising Freon costs and repairs, it makes more sense to go ahead and replace your air conditioning system now.

If you do decide it’s out with the old and in with the new, there is no better time to replace your AC system than during the fall season when temperatures are mild.  Regardless of what you decide, the Austin HVAC experts at Schneider Mechanical have you covered!  For repair, replacement, or maintenance, give us a call.