Austin Air Companie Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Freon phase out’

R22 Freon Ban AND R410a Puron Phase Down 2022

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

R22 Freon Ban

So I believe most everyone knows by now of this R22 Freon Ban a popular refrigerant that was used in air conditioners across the USA for the better part of the last 40 years or so. I still to this day find these machines and the result is often to replace this with air conditioners that use the newer refrigerant R410a Puron, that is often confused with the latter.

Up until about a few years ago it was sometimes feasible to just repair an R22 Freon machine, however this refrigerant has now become so costly it is almost always better to replace the equipment for a new air conditioner that uses R410a Puron. R22 Freon was banned because the chemicals in which it is made from contain chlorine and it was deemed unfriendly to the ozone layer in the atmosphere where it was cutting holes in that layer. (A layer in the stratosphere that protects the earth from UV rays of the sun)

R410a Puron Phase Down

R410a is set to be phased down for entirely different reasons than destruction of the ozone layer. There was an amendment to the Montreal Protocol in 2016 known as the Kigali Amendment. The reason why you may not have heard or know of this until now is that due to Trump being elected US President later in 2016 of that year the Trump adminstration ignored the Kigali Amendment thru out his adminstration.

What one adminstration can ignore, another can change course and expedite things under a Global Warming national emergency header. However, as I share this topic and delve deeper into where things are one thing will become abundantly clear. There is no perfect solution to this problem. It’s primarily a cat and mouse game at this point. (As of May 2022 things don’t look that great.) 

In an attempt to give you a clear understanding of this topic I made a video what / how / why and when this is due. This video below is only a starting point to show how we got to this point. Video embedded below. 

The cost of R22 Freon is primarily what is driving new replacements of air conditioners in my area of Katy, Texas which is a hot climate in which we run our air conditioners 9-10 months of the year most years. The con in all of this is you won’t live in Katy, Texas climate without air conditioning.

So essentially any AC you buy in 2022 will come with R410a. There’s no problem in that just on it’s own provided of course that new unit doesn’t spring a refrigerant leak. Oh well I have a warranty so you might think you’re ok until you dig out that warranty certificate to find out refrigerants are not covered by any manufacturer.

Refrigerant Wars

There are so many ways to slice and dice this… there are no easy answers I can assure you of that. So what can you do?

Educate yourself, I lay it out for you cut and dry this subject will be long. Don’t do your homework plan on an empty wallet no other way around that. If spending hours trying to educate yourself on such things is not your thing and you live in the Katy, Texas area? You could call me my name again is Ray Austin. Your own personal easy button. I will lay out your options for you considering your situation (whatever that may entail).
Call me at 832-475-6895

Here is the start of a multi part discussion of possible future refrigerants, each of which will require new air conditioning equipment. No free lunch here. I decided to call this Freon Wars and you’ll see why as I post additional parts to this blog post.

Here is the second part 2b to refrigerant (freon) wars saga.

Here is the third part 2c to refrigerant (freon) wars saga.

Stay tuned / book mark this post as I will update it as things move along. Should know more the closer we get to 2023. Thanks for watching and thank you for visiting with me today.

There’s been some interesting developments for 2023 and due to what I believe is a turn for the worse I decided to make a new post to continue this subject. You can find this 2023 update to the Freon Wars saga by clicking here. 

About the Author of this blog post:
My name is Ray Austin owner/operator of Austin Air Companie a small HVAC service company that services the Katy, Texas area and some surrounding areas. I write my own blogs, I make my own videos, No investors, no intimidation to tell you like it is. My HVAC career is 28 years long, 14 of which running and operating my own HVAC service company.

If you call me, you will get me. There is no technician roulette wheel to spin here at Austin Air Companie.

Did you know that HVAC is often times a game of cat and mouse? You see early on in my HVAC career I was forced to run calls for free. Because the managers / owners of the company I worked for were into games of tricking people. The advertisements were geared toward making the phone ring (promising free this or that). Then to make those advertisements pay off I was told to sell new systems. You have to do that to pay for those fancy advertisements from the TV. In 2022 advertising costs are even higher not to mention the cost of everything.

If you are calling me I will inform you of all choices even repairing your air conditioner. I am skilled in working for you, not just recommending something that is only beneficial to me. It’s about providing you an air conditioning service that you can rely on. I will do my best to explain the risks of doing what you decide to do. That is what a skilled HVAC contractor can do for you.

If I ran service calls for free now with gas prices where they are up over $4 a gallon currently. That isn’t wise financially. I have to remain in business to serve the customers I have already. As I lay out things that are changing in the HVAC industry in this Katy Texas AC Blog post you need a skilled HVAC contractor more than ever. Unless of course you are naturally wealthy and can afford to replace your AC equipment over and over again.

The choice is yours to make. I lay it out for you then you choose what you think is best for you and your situation. If something else happens? Call me again. You will always need a good HVAC repair man, more so now than any other time before.

R22 Freon Production Ban

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Oh that pesky little government is at it again… LOL. Certainly I’ve heard it all when it comes to politics in general. But you’d be surprised to know that the laws effecting R22 Freon production now (2016 and beyond) were finalized and signed by the USA in 1987 via the Montreal Protocol and ratified in 1988. The Montreal Protocol has been amended only 4 times since 1987. This agreement was an international agreement that has been signed by 197 countries.

Freon Production Ban Time Line Chart

So why are you just now learning about this now if it happened in 1987? Part of it was to give time to come up with a new refrigerant to replace the old bad one. There are many refrigerants, all with varying properties to one degree or another. Some refrigerants make poor choices due to flammability concerns, others may not distribute oil thru the system properly and cause reliability concerns in regards to the break down of the system compressor. There are many more concerns than these but to keep this short I will stop there.

R22 Freon Replacement

As of 2016 there is no ‘approved’ drop in replacement for R22 Freon for high temp application otherwise known as Air Conditioning. Choosing an unapproved refrigerant will void ‘ANY’ manufacturer warranty, increase utility cost to run the system, reduce capacity of the system, cause the system to not cool properly in heat wave conditions, cause the compressor to fail prematurely due to improper oil return to the compressor.

As of 2016 there is only one proven refrigerant for the future and the name of this refrigerant is R410a. It is sometimes improperly referred to as Freon or a more popular proper trade name it is called Puron. R410a refrigerant is not a drop in replacement for R22 Freon. Refrigerants can not be mixed and work properly, nor can you use R410a in a air conditioner that was designed for R22 Freon, it simply will not work ‘reliably’. The AC system must be replaced with equipment designed to work with R410a. Air Conditioning systems are engineered and designed to operate with a specific refrigerant. For reliable operation of the AC system one must know what they are doing and use the appropriate refrigerant for the system in question.

There are many unscrupulous vendors and those that claim there are some refrigerants that can be used to replace R22 Freon. When it comes to the high temp air conditioning application these claims are false. The nature of a con game is something that will ‘easily’ solve a problem. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying… “if it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.” But yet people over and over again fall for these snake oil AC repairs.

The notion behind these so called remedies is by giving you a cheap price up front. The system may run for a few months if you are lucky and probably not much longer than a year depending on a multitude of factors like loads on the equipment, line set length, age of the equipment, the heat load the system is running in and so on.

Residential AC Compressor Problems

When doing things improperly to save money up front the end result is most often a dead compressor or a AC system that will not cool properly during a heat wave as well as high utility bills. The money you supposedly saved up front will dry up in no time when it can’t perform properly during a heat wave. The more you run the system during a heat wave the more likely you are to burn up the compressor (*If you run the machine with an improper refrigerant*) due to a lack of oil return to the compressor crankcase. (The compressor will seize up under this scenario.)

Your AC will not work without the compressor. That is a major component so now you’re most likely looking at a new air conditioning unit when this part fails.

An air conditioning system (just about any brand) is a 15 year appliance when installed and maintained properly. If you decide to play games with it, try to cut corners, try to reverse engineer things like using the proper virgin refrigerant the system was designed for as well as proper installation procedures it is unlikely to make it past even a few years without some significant problem.

There is special equipment required to be able to install an air conditioner properly. If you use an unlicensed person to install your system there is a good chance they don’t have the proper equipment to install the AC system properly. How will you know for sure that they do or don’t have all the tools and materials needed to install the AC system?

An improperly installed air conditioning system is the last kind of mess you want to have to deal with in your home. There are good reasons that manufacturer’s require licensed HVAC contractors to install the system in order to offer any warranty on the HVAC equipment.

You know what the cure for doing it wrong is? To do it over again. You don’t want to do that do you? These words are intended to help you avoid making a serious mistake.

The comfort in your home or lack thereof can wreck havoc on your finances. It is a financial decision and one you should not take lightly. Do it right the first time.

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope I gave you some valuable insight in this AC blog topic to help you with this challenging problem regarding R22 Freon and the change over to R410a Puron. Remember R22 Freon is going away. It is not coming back. It is in your best interest to upgrade your system by replacing it with an R410a engineered air conditioner.

If you have a Freon leak in your evaporator coil you can replace the evaporator coil only but under this scenario you would continue to use virgin R22 Freon. As time gets closer to 2020 there ‘may’ not be any R22 Freon available at any price. There is no way to know for sure what will happen until it does. Using non compatible refrigerants is not recommended under any circumstances.

The days of recharging an air conditioning system are pretty much over. The refrigerant leak(s) must be found and repaired.

About the author of this air conditioning blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

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