2020 was a big year for air conditioners. Once a staple in the cooling system, as of January 2020, Freon production was ended in order to protect the ozone. This means that a lot of refrigerant once used in air conditioners will no longer be produced or used. Does this mean that you need to start planning to replace your air conditioner if your unit uses this refrigerant? Not necessarily.
The refrigerant in your older air conditioner is only harmful to the environment only if it leaks out. If an air conditioner is working properly, it uses a closed loop system. This means that the refrigerant shouldn’t be leaking or lowering in level. If it does leak, while Freon cannot be produced, it can be recycled.
The issue with recycled Freon is that as time goes on, obviously there will be less of it available. You can choose to have your air conditioner retrofitted with a new compressor designed to use the new refrigerants, but at a cost that would be akin to just replacing it anyway. Neither choice is exactly ideal.
If your refrigerant is phased out, and you are wondering if you should just get a new air conditioner, what you really need to consider is the age of your system. Your air conditioner has a standard lifespan of about 15 years. With maintenance, it can go beyond that, but you can start to expect problems and a need for more frequent repair. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, you should already be planning to replace it regardless of if it has a phased out refrigerant or not.