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With new climate change regulations, owners of older AC units may be wondering what they should do. Freon, an older form of air conditioning technology, was banned in 2020. Do you need a different kind of freon? Will your AC unit need to be entirely replaced?

As the costs for R22 freon increases, there are two solutions you can consider for your older AC unit.

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1. Continue Using R22 Freon

If you have an older AC unit that uses R22 freon, you can choose to continue using it as well as R22. It’s important to note that as of 2020, R22 is no longer being produced which will lead to a few complications if this is your plan.While R22 is still being recycled, reclaimed, and recovered, the price to purchase it is increasing rapidly. You can expect R22 to be around for a little while, but eventually, it will be entirely used up, or the price to continue using your old AC unit will become too much.

Most homeowners who relied on R22 AC units have already made the switch, which means fewer people are searching for the remaining supply of R22, but there’s still competition over it. We do advise our customers to steer away from it.

2. Switch to an R-410A Unit

The replacement for R22 units is an R-410A AC unit. R-410A is much more environmentally friendly and is therefore supported by new AC models. As a newer technology, R-410A has many benefits that R22 simply can’t beat.

R-410A is not only more efficient at absorbing and releasing heat, but it doesn’t harm the ozone layer like R22 and it doesn’t damage the environment. Additionally, R-410A is cheaper even without the increasing price of R22.

Many older AC units often break down, increase your energy bill, and require more costly service costs. When you switch to a new R-410A unit, you’ll see your energy bill decrease by 20% to 40% on average. As a more efficient AC unit, R-410A units perform better, lower bills, and are much more reliable during the hot season. It’s worth noting that the government has decided it’s time to start phasing out 410, so we all will be adjusting to at least two new refrigerants in the future

Do I Have to Replace My Older AC Unit?

Replacing your AC unit can be expensive, so it’s understandable if you’re a bit hesitant to do so. Fortunately, you aren’t required to replace your AC unit if it uses R22. If you really want to keep your older unit but don’t want to keep using R22 due to its damaging nature or increasing cost, you have the option to retrofit your old system to accept R-410A.

Before you simply switch to using R-410A with your old AC unit, you need a professional to come and make some adjustments to it. You can only retrofit your old unit if the coils are compatible with R-410A.

As newer units have different compressors and working parts than older units, retrofitting your old AC is often expensive. If you choose to upgrade your old system so that it can accept R-410A, then you’ll also need to factor in regular maintenance checks to prevent leaks and ensure your AC unit isn’t harming the environment.

If you are able to retrofit your old AC unit, then you’ll benefit from increased energy efficiency without having to pay for a new unit. However, many units will need to be replaced after 15 years so if your unit is nearing its due date, it’s likely not worth the extra costs and hassle of replacing parts and coils to make it R-410A compliant.


If your AC is more than 15 years old, it’s probably time to switch out your AC unit anyway. However, the thought of purchasing a whole new system can be stressful and retrofitting your current unit may feel more manageable. Whichever you decide to do, consult a professional like us so we can help you make a more informed decision and ensure you don’t accidentally damage your unit.