Most Phoenicians Are Unaware of the Phoenix Freon Deadline
In October 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the final phasing out schedule of production and importation of R-22, also known as Freon. While most HVAC equipment manufactured today uses other, safer types of coolant, many systems manufactured before 2010 still use R-22 refrigerant.
But Phoenix citizens might be in for a rude awakening soon. If your existing air conditioning system is older, there’s a chance it is charged with R-22 refrigerant, also known as Freon. There are a number of important facts Arizona homeowners need to know as the phase-out of this ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) is rapidly nearing a complete ban.
Why Is Freon Being Banned?
In 1987, the USA signed the Montreal Protocol with other nations to ban Freon and other ozone-depleting gasses. This will result in a complete ban on the production of Freon by 2020. Recently, the Obama Administration has said the 2020 date is not aggressive enough and pushed it back to 2017. Acting in compliance with The Clean Air Act, the phase out was undertaken to protect the earth’s ozone layer from the ozone-harming compound (chlorine) found in Freon. Along with the 2017 ban, there has been an aggressive, linear, reduction in the allowed production of Freon which has spiked prices and even created “theft” of Freon as a criminal enterprise.
There are alternative refrigerants, such as R32 and R410A, but they cannot be run in a Freon charged system without expensive retro-fitting; making it not worth it. American companies knew about the Montreal Protocol and yet continued producing and selling R22 charged air conditioning systems until they were forced to stop in 2010 because of legislation. Now the Freon is being aggressively cut off and will cease in 2017. Right now, it is expensive and becoming more expensive. This means that the next time one of our citizens services their Phoenix air conditioning unit they might be in for a rather alarming surprise.
The Dangers of a Freon Leak
A minor Freon leak may not pose a health risk, but exposure to high amounts can cause harmful side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, and irritation of the lungs, skin, or eyes. Lung failure or death may occur with prolonged exposure to Freon. Because of the health risks associated with AC Freon leaks, it’s critical that you are proactive and contact an air conditioning expert if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
Most Phoenicians seem to not even aware of these changes looming. AC by J would like to be involved in making our Arizona neighbors aware of these changes affecting Freon charged air conditioning systems. People need to be made aware of this and have the opportunity to plan for it. For people with an R-22 charged system, the best thing that they can do now is to keep their system serviced while they plan for these changes. Right now, AC by J is offering a “Two for One” Fall Maintenance Deal! To see it click HERE.
AC by J Is Here to Keep You Safe
AC by J has been working to make Phoenix homeowners aware of this problem. If your coils are leaking R-22, AC by J can repair your air conditioning system to reduce the chances of life threatening respiratory health issues.