You may be hearing about a ban on refrigerants or Freon® and wondering if or how it will impact your facility and older equipment. Whether you’re a building owner or facility manager, the final implementation of laws affecting refrigerants will affect you.
Many businesses and building owners have decided to replace their old equipment with new, more efficient options that meet the current regulations. If that’s not an option, a refrigerant conversion is the next best choice.
Concerns About Freon: Is Freon Banned in 2020?
The Environmental Protection Agency banned Freon, also known as HCFC-22 and R-22, in new systems in 2010. 2020 is the final phase of implementation for the ban in the United States, which means no more production of HCFC-22 within the United States. Importation into the U.S. is also banned. You’re still free to use your existing equipment, but when you eventually require a repair involving coolant, recharging the freon will not be an option unless you use reclaimed, purified R22 and the prices for that are increasing as its supply diminishes.
This ban is due to R22 refrigerant’s classification as an ODS, or ozone-depleting substance. The refrigerant has negative effects on our planet’s rapidly diminishing ozone layer and is of major environmental concern.
The Solution: Get ahead of these costs by switching to a system that uses R-410A refrigerant instead or convert your existing system to R-410A or another environmentally-friendly refrigerants. R-410A is chlorine-free, and newer systems use it. When deciding whether to replace your equipment or convert it to R-410A, consider the energy cost savings of a newer, high-efficiency system. If an equipment upgrade isn’t feasible at this time, a planned refrigerant conversion is better for your budget than waiting until a repair is needed. If you’re not quite sure, you can always weigh your options.
Refrigerant, of course, is vital to the function of your HVAC system. This fluid fills the interior of the coils in your heating and cooling equipment. The pressure that the heating and cooling system exerts on the refrigerant causes it to change between liquid and gas states, and alter the temperature of your business or other commercial property.
Benefits of Refrigeration Conversion
Because of the implementation of the law, refrigeration conversion of some sort is inevitable. The benefits of doing a refrigerant conversion now than later include:
Planned Change is Easier
The next time your air conditioning or refrigeration system needs a repair, you’ll have to convert. A planned conversion fits into a budget better, and in the case of air conditioning systems, it means you won’t have to deal with a refrigerant conversion during a heatwave breakdown. Planned conversions or replacements can also spread out the cost in some cases.
Better Energy Efficiency
The new systems and refrigerants are both better for the environment and more energy-efficient.
Pick Your Replacement
Since the law banning R22 was passed, several alternative coolants have been created, including R-410A, R-421A, R-407, Freon® 404A, and more. If you want more information on what system or refrigerant is best for your needs, call Donnelly Mechanical.
Let’s Talk About The Cost of Refrigeration Conversion
Like many HVAC upgrades, a measured, planned implementation is less shocking than an emergency repair, especially given the potentially large size of your commercial property and the urgency of converting to an R-410A-compliant system. As you can tell, it’s best to avoid waiting for an emergency repair that could take your business offline for days or weeks.