Freon is banned in America as of January 1, 2020.

So, is your air conditioner doomed?

Well, maybe.

It will be illegal to manufacture or import Freon (also known as HCFC-22, R-22 or hydrochloroflurocarbon 22) after December 31, 2019. This chemical, which can damage the earth’s ozone layer, has been banned by all 197 countries in the United Nations.

The good news?

If your A/C was built after 2010, it uses a more earth-friendly refrigerant, since an EPA ban on manufacturing Freon-based systems has been in effect for almost 10 years.

Ouch! My A/C is old! Will we be affected by the Freon ban?

If your home air conditioner is pre-2010, it may face a future where the dwindling supply of R-22 will cause prices to spiral upward, and it may make replacement of your A/C an economical choice. (If you’re not sure whether your system uses Freon, contact your SMART contractor by visiting

If I had to replace Freon in my A/C before should I get a new system?

One key question to ask is whether you’ve ever had to replace Freon after a leak. Some systems (here’s some more good news) which never leaked Freon may have a closed system and can keep going years longer.

But … if you’ve ever had to recharge Freon, it was caused by a leak, it’s likely to leak again, and that’s trouble. Again, your SMART technician can help you with an inspection.

Do you have to worry about your car’s A/C?

No! The automotive industry switched over to more eco-friendly refrigerants years ago.

What can you do to prolong the life of your air conditioning?

Use all the common-sense precautions: change filters regularly, have regular seasonal maintenance, don’t strain the system (e.g., use ceiling fans year round, close blinds or drapes on sunny Summer days.)

For an earth-friendly longer-term answer you can feel good about, plant a tree outside a south-facing window that will offer leafy shade in summer, but lose its leaves to allow in warming sunshine every winter.