Got an old AC system? As of January 2020, the refrigerant Freon (also called HCFC-22 or R-22) is no longer being made in or imported into the U.S.
Impact on Homeowners with Older AC Units
But don’t sweat it. AC units less than 10 years old don’t contain Freon, and as long as your old compressor is working fine, you can keep using it. (Though rising prices on existing Freon stock means recharging the system will cost more.)
Replacing Older ACs
Some units can be modified to use other refrigerants, but that may not be worth the cost. Window air conditioners are cheap enough that if you have a failing Freon unit (the label will name the refrigerant), the best course is just replacing it.
And since the average life of a central-air system is 15 to 20 years, now may be a good time to start thinking about buying a more energy-efficient unit that will save money in the long run.
Advice from pro: AQM
General info: EPA
Life expectancy of appliances: Energy.gov