R-22, better known to most consumers as Freon, is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA is a part of the United States government and develops solutions and creates laws that protect the environment. The EPA has joined with international efforts to eliminate ozone depleting substances. This effort is called the Montreal Protocol. Most countries around the world began enforcing the project shortly after it was started n 1987, but since Jan. 1, 2010, the US has been fully involved.
As part of the Montreal Protocol, the EPA has begun a Phase Out program which will eventually lead to a complete ban on all ozone depleting substances that includes all HCFC (chlorofluorocarbons) refrigerants. The Phase Out works by slowly mandating the use of HCFC Freon to the point of nonexistence. Freon is a trade name introduced by Dupont. Other refrigerant names used by other manufacturers are Genetron, Isotron, Carrene and Frezone; although it is most commonly referred to as Freon by homeowners.
Under the Montreal Protocol, beginning in 2010, Freon could not be used in newly installed HVAC systems. Instead of Freon, a more environmentally friendly refrigerant called R-410a was to be used.
How does that affect you now?
It was recognized that Freon would still be needed for years in the servicing and repair of existing systems and can continue to be produced for servicing and repair purposes until 2020. Recently, the EPA proposed an accelerated phase-out of R-22 (Freon) which has caused the cost of R-22 to go up over 400% in the last two months. Our suppliers have also restricted the quantity of R-22 we can purchase.
If you have a system that uses Freon, we will continue to be able to complete your repairs; however, your repair bill will reflect a higher cost for Freon due to the increase in cost for us to purchase it.
We value your business and work hard to keep our service pricing competitive. We will continue to keep you informed about federal regulations, their impact on HVAC systems and how they affect you. Your understanding is appreciated. Please call us at any time for additional information or to find out if you have a system that uses FREON refrigerant.