Chill out

Summer is the time of year when air conditioners typically get a workout and new regulations are causing the cost of Freon, also known as R-22, to skyrocket. If your system is less than 10 years old, it doesn’t contain Freon.

The Environmental Protection Agency banned Freon for use in new systems back in 2010, and through the Clean Air Act the import or production of Freon has been banned since January 2020. The EPA says the odorless gas, a key refrigerant in AC units, is bad for the environment because it depletes the ozone layer.

If your old system is working well, you can keep using it. Air conditioners typically have a life span of 15 to 20 years, but it might be time to start planning and budgeting for a new system. When you do, buy a more energy-efficient unit with the ENERGY STAR logo and save money in the long run.