License #TACLA28187E
817-685-0042 10728 S. Pipeline Rd. Suite G
Hurst, TX 76053

Freon - Going, Going, GONE!

Refrigeration is important. The science of keeping things cool has made an immeasurable impact in our quality of life as Americans, and especially as Texans. The preservation of food, the manufacturing of penicillin and the ice in your tea are all made possible by refrigeration. However, the advancement in refrigeration technology has not been without cost. The first chemicals used in refrigeration units for both industrial and home uses were toxic gasses such as ammonia and methyl chloride. A leak in one of these units was not just dangerous but potentially deadly.

A better way forward was found in the 1930’s when engineers and chemist at General Motors and DuPont developed synthesized chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) coolants. CFCs were the world's first non-flammable refrigerating fluids, substantially improving the safety of air conditioners. They named these refrigerants Freon.

This advancement meant that not only was your Frigidaire safe to be in your kitchen, but you could also have safe, affordable, and comfortable air conditioning in your car and home. The most popular refrigerant used in home air conditioning systems was Freon R-22. It was non-toxic, non-flammable and it did its job very well in all types of applications and climate conditions. Freon R-22 is a great refrigerant, but it had a cost. In the late 1970’s the use of CFCs was tied to damage of the ozone layer and governments all over the world began the regulation and phase out of all CFCs.

Today we are approaching the end of the road for Freon R-22. Equipment manufacturers made their last R-22 charged units at the end of 2009. The Environmental Protection Agency has capped production since 1996 and the final green bottle of new refrigerant will be produced in 2020.

Freon Production

So what does this mean for our clients in 2017 who still own R-22 systems? Depending on your budget constraints and the age of your current system, there are a few alternatives you can consider:

  • Conduct diligent maintenance on your current R-22 system. Implementing a program of regular maintenance by a professional HVAC service company will lower the risk of your system developing a refrigerant leak and other problems. It will also allow you to catch small leaks sooner, but be prepared, any repair involving R-22 will be expensive this year. Distributors have even warned that there may be times when R-22 is unavailable this summer depending on the market conditions.
  • Replace R-22 with a substitute refrigerant  Refrigerant manufacturers have been busy formulating new refrigerants that will work in existing R-22 systems. The conversion to a replacement refrigerant will not cost as much as a completely new system, and may cost less than recharging your existing system with R-22. The downside is that none of these refrigerants work as well as R-22 and you will experience a 10-15% loss in cooling capacity.
  • Complete system replacement. This is the most costly option. The major advantage with a completely new system is that you will derive the benefits of the latest air conditioning technology. Thanks to manufacturer rebates, Spring is a good time to consider these replacements.

Regardless of how well an HVAC system has been maintained, its efficiency and reliability will deteriorate as it gets older through normal wear and tear. Please feel free to contact Air Worth if you have any questions about refrigerant or your air conditioning system.

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Freon - Going, Going, GONE! - Hurst Texas Heating Maintenance and Air Conditioning Service and Maintenance - estimateFree Estimateon Equipment Replacement

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