Illegalizing AC – Again, by Eric Peters

If there had to be proof that something was harmful before the government passed a regulation against it, the Federal Register would be cut in half. From Eric Peters at

Remember when they banned the sale of those small cans of Freon – the refrigerant that used to be used in automotive air conditioning systems? You used to be able to buy these at any auto parts store and do-it-yourself recharge your car’s AC system.

Not anymore.

They said it was necessary to ban those cans because Freon leaking into the air was bad for the environment; specifically, that it was carving a hole in the ozone layer. So only “certified” AC technicians could buy Freon – and afford the commercial-grade equipment necessary to service cars with Freon-based AC systems.

The financial burden  of paying these technicians fell upon the owners of cars that had Freon-based AC systems, which they could no longer recharge on their own for about $5 – which was the cost of a small can of Freon refrigerant, when it was still legal for anyone to buy it at any auto parts store.

Then along came the new refrigerant – R134a. It has been the dominant car AC refrigerant since the 1990s-era “phase out” of Freon. It wasn’t a danger to the environment – or so one would assume, since people were once again allowed to buy small cans of it and (once again) recharge their car’s AC system for about $5 rather than pay several hundred dollars to an AC technician, as people who still own older cars with Freon-based AC systems are obliged to do (It’s either that or have their original AC system modified to accept the new refrigerant – and that costs more than $5, too.)

Well, here we go again.

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