Home Improvement: AIR CONDITIONERS OLDER THAN 2010 HAVE LITTLE LIFE LEFT
WAS YOUR AIR CONDITIONER BORN BEFORE 2010?
GOOD-BYE FREON – HELLO R-410A (Puron)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the environmental agencies of many other nations around the world, joined together to enact a Freon phase out.
This phase out was created due to scientific evidence that Freon destroys the ozone layer that protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet sun rays and it contributes to the phenomenon of climate change.
In January 2010, air conditioning system manufacturers stopped producing equipment that utilizes Freon as the coolant.
HOW THIS AFFECTS YOU
Scenario 1 – A True Story
Last week, I went to look at a house that someone bought at an auction. The condenser (outside unit) was stolen and now has to be replaced. The problem is, manufacturers no longer make condensing units that are compatible with the air handler that still uses Freon. The buyer will have to purchase both an air handler and a condensing unit – a cost that he did not know about before placing a bid on this house.
Scenario 2 – What If?
If your air conditioning system that uses Freon as the coolant develops a coolant leak or another mechanical or electrical problem, you must make a decision between repair and replacement. As Freon becomes more expensive and increasingly difficult to obtain, the cost of recharging the system will continue to rise. It may mean an A/C upgrade is a better choice.
DO I NEED TO CHANGE NOW?
Unless you are having a problem, I would not recommend changing your system now. But, the newer air conditioning systems are more efficient and by installing one, you may save money on your electric bills.
HOWEVER – IN FIVE YEARS FREON WILL NO LONG BE AVAILABLE
The phase out of Freon, which began in 2010, is taking place over the course of about 20 years. In existing air conditioning systems, Freon can be used to recharge the equipment until January 1, 2020.
Due to the decrease in the supply of Freon, the cost of Freon has significantly increased and the number of companies that have access to it is getting smaller and smaller. Homeowners who discover that their air conditioners have a Freon leak may end up spending several hundred dollars for a recharge of the system.
Who would have thought that something installed five years ago may only have a life expectancy of another five years.
Knowing your options now, will help you be prepared in the future. If your home is aging and you need some maintenance advice, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.
Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.