You wouldn’t think it, but there are actually quite a few home improvements you can’t make because the law prohibits it. No, this isn’t the same as that law from Florida that states men can’t wear dresses a certain length above the knee, this is actually reasonable. As the title states, repairing your HVAC is illegal. This is for a litany of reasons, and there are some things you should look out for before touching your HVAC unit without permission.

What is Freon?

We hope that before you think about DIYing your own HVAC, you have an understanding of how HVACs work. If you do, you’ll know that they use a chemical called freon for a fair majority of the working parts. It should be noted that freon is dangerous and can cause asphyxia, dizziness and irritate respiratory issues. Because this chemical is super dangerous, it is required that you go through rigorous training to ensure that you know what you’re doing, hence why there are professionals who work on HVAC units. While Freon is dangerous to inhale, it’s even worse for the ozone layer, which as we all know is fragile enough at this point in time. It’s been recently outlawed, but phasing it out of HVAC units is going to be incredibly hard considering most people don’t schedule HVAC maintenance and upgrades nearly as often as they should. The substance won’t actually become illegal, due to this slow transitionary period, until 2020.

How This Affects You

Apart from spoiling your, almost certainly, measured and calculated DIY project, it means that your unit is going to be out of juice here in a minute. Freon acts as the cooling agent in your HVAC unit, and once it becomes illegal, you won’t be the only one not allowed to work on it. On top of freon being impossible to get ahold of, your friendly neighborhood HVAC maintenance company will no longer be allowed to work on it. Maintenance for fixing refrigerant leaks and recharging refrigerant will be completely out of the question. So your AC unit will become a very cumbersome and unsightly paperweight.

The Next Step

The system that most people have that will suffer from this change is called the R22. With 2020 only being a couple years away, you should start to consider alternatives to your current system. You have a couple of options: you can either sit it out until your current one breaks down completely, retrofit your current HVAC unit so it no longer uses Freon, or purchase a new system altogether. If you’re looking for a less clunky and better system, be sure to check out our argument for the new high-velocity HVAC units here and here.

Considering Your Options

We’re aware that retrofitting sounds like the most cost-effective option for your R22 conversion. Unfortunately, retrofitting might not work for your current system. You’ll obviously need a professional to come out and make an assessment of your system to see if it’s a feasible option for your model unit. Note that if your system is already leaking refrigerant, an expert is not going to recommend retrofitting.


Baring all of this in mind, we like to think of it in the same way as buying a new car or a new garage door. With modern sciences and conveniences at the disposal of all major manufacturers, quality products are now made to last more than ever before. For example, it’s expected that cars being sold from 2015 onward will certainly reach an average of 300,000 miles. If you buy a quality HVAC now, it’s going to last a very long time, and the quality and upgrade will make itself present in your day-to-day life.

Ken’s Heating and Air Conditioning is proud to be your Top Rated Local® HVAC expert for the Batavia area. In light of these recent events, give us a call and we’ll help you figure out the right move for your pocketbook and the longevity of your system. Contact us today to discuss design and installation options.