Is Freon covered under a home warranty?
We rely on our air conditioning to deliver comfort and cool air during the warm summer months. That’s why, when our air conditioner fails to work properly, we take notice.
If you have an older heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, then your unit might rely on Freon in order to function.
Freon is a colorless gas and is chemically a chlorofluorocarbon. It is commonly known as R-22 and is a common agent in refrigeration and aerosol cans.
Freon use is being phased out because it is harmful to the environment. So, what options do you have if your older air conditioning still uses Freon?
This article will help you answer those questions as well as address the following:
- The importance of having a home warranty that covers Freon-based air conditioning replacement
- Limitations of Freon coverage for home warranty plans
- How to make sure your home warranty covers Freon-based air conditioning replacement
- How to file a claim for Freon-based air conditioning replacement
Importance of having a home warranty that covers Freon-based air conditioning replacement
In 1974, researchers discovered that Freon’s usage and manufacturing were actually destroying the ozone layer. By 1987, Freon was being phased out, and by 2003, no new air conditioners or refrigerators were being made with Freon.
As of 2020, Freon will no longer be imported or produced in the U.S., and only a limited amount of recycled Freon will still be available. As a homeowner, running an air conditioner with R410A, Freon’s replacement, will be more energy-efficient, and it will be certified under the EPA and the Clean Air Act.
These systems are not required to be replaced, but if you have an HVAC system that is over 15 years old and still relies on Freon, you may need to consider replacing the unit in the future. Retrofitting older Freon-based units is also possible. HVAC technicians can work with you to replace an outdoor unit if the condenser and evaporator coil are compatible with R410A refrigerant.
Because Freon has been phased out, it can be more difficult to service an HVAC unit that requires Freon. Air conditioning repair companies are allowed to service Freon-based HVAC systems; however, this service might be more expensive.
If you know your air conditioner is using Freon, then it is important to find a home warranty company that offers coverage for Freon-based A/C unit models. A home warranty will be able to help offset the cost of servicing a Freon air conditioner. Additionally, it can cover retrofitting it for refrigerant or replacing the unit entirely.
Note that because your air conditioner is older, a manufacturer’s warranty probably won’t apply, and the unit will not be covered under homeowners insurance either.
A home warranty company will want to know that your air conditioning uses Freon before you sign up, as most modern models are automatically designed to use refrigerant. This can usually be confirmed with a home inspection or having a qualified technician come out to assess the unit. If they notice that your air conditioning uses Freon, then the home warranty company will be able to provide you with the options for coverage.
Limitations on Freon coverage in some home warranty plans
A home warranty plan will generally cover a primary-floor air conditioning unit with a capacity of five tons or less. The standard coverage will apply to air conditioning components such as the motors, compressors, thermostats and condensers.
If you know you need more coverage than what is standard, you will need to inquire with the home warranty company as to what is possible. Some agreements might be able to be extended to cover alternate A/C units, such as window units, wall units, zone systems and portable air conditioning units.
In addition to these other types of air conditioning, you should identify if the home warranty company can add coverage for the following:
- Air filters
- Low Freon
- Freon recapture
- Freon leak
- Damage caused by Freon leak
- Geothermal systems
- Gas or propane air conditioning systems
- Air filtration systems
Other components that could be covered include grills, stands, jacks, condenser casings, pads, vents, flues, clogged lines, condensation leaks, mismatched systems, damaged ducts, improper wiring and improper piping.
How to make sure your home warranty covers a Freon-based air conditioning unit replacement
Since every home warranty company offers different coverage, it is important to have a discussion with the customer service representative about what your coverage entails.
While it may feel like a lot of work to understand your coverage and how an air conditioner works, it will benefit you in the long run to be better prepared for the repairs and maintenance your home requires.
If you already have a home warranty plan, then you can refer to the terms and conditions the home warranty company provided for you at the time of sign-up. You may be able to add Freon to your home warranty plan under a limited agreement, such as a limited warranty.
A limited warranty will allow you to cover the replacement of Freon during a given period of time. Or, you can ask about a labor warranty so all you would need to pay for is the unit and parts themselves.
If another appliance in your home also has Freon, then you can consider seeking a limited warranty that covers Freon replacement for a variety of items. A refrigerator, freezer, dehumidifier or water cooler might also use Freon.
How to place a home warranty claim for Freon replacement
If you have a home protection plan that covers the replacement or retrofitting of Freon in your air conditioner, then you can get that serviced at any time. This coverage is highly recommended, as the price to complete the service will only entail a nominal service fee.
You’ll also want to schedule regular maintenance so that you can keep your air conditioning running properly. It is important that your air conditioner and other appliances are regularly maintained so that your home warranty still applies and your appliances stay working efficiently.
Most home warranty companies will allow you to file a claim either online (through a live chat or dashboard) or over the phone.