Does a home warranty cover Freon?

Check Freon coverage to avoid costly surprises later

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outdoor AC unit at the back of a home

Freon is one of the key ingredients to making your older air conditioner blow cold air. If your AC isn’t as chilly as you’d like, it might be time to refill your Freon. You may be able to get your AC fixed through your home warranty plan. There are some things you should know before filing a claim, though.


Key insights

Freon is the brand name for a refrigerant banned in the Clean Air Act of 2010.

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Some home warranty companies cover refrigerant replacement.

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There are limitations and exclusions in your contract that may get your claim denied.

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What Freon services does a home warranty cover?

Freon is the brand name for a refrigerant called R-22. Since many home warranties cover refrigerants as part of air conditioning warranty packages, home warranties may cover Freon, but maybe not in the way you’d think.

The Clean Air Act of 2010 banned Freon; by 2020, the last of it was made or imported to the United States. The ban doesn’t mean you can’t get service on your air conditioner. There is still some Freon out there, and you can still have your AC unit serviced. This is expensive, though.

A better plan may be to retrofit your old AC so it doesn’t need Freon and can use a more eco-friendly refrigerant. Likely, the AC coverage in your home warranty will cover either a refill or a retrofit.

Potential exclusions to Freon home warranty coverage

Even the best home warranty companies have limitations and exclusions in their contracts that could get your claim denied. For example, home warranty companies typically only cover repairs for damage caused by normal wear and tear. If your spouse was mowing the lawn and a rock got thrown into the Freon area of your outdoor AC unit, causing a leak, that probably won’t be covered.

There are other exceptions, too. For example, your contract may also outline that some makes and models of AC units aren’t eligible for repairs through your package.

Some home warranty companies also limit the amount of the repair they will cover. For example, American Home Shield (AHS) covers AC repairs up to $5,000. If your repair costs more than that, you'll need to pay the rest. The limits can change depending on what package you have, though. AHS’ ShieldSilver and ShieldGold packages have a $10 per pound AC refrigerant cap, while ShieldPlatinum covers all the AC refrigerant costs.

What to do if your home warranty doesn’t cover Freon

If your home warranty doesn't cover Freon-related issues, there are several steps you can take. Explore upgrading your home warranty plan to include coverage for Freon-related repairs or replacements. This may involve adjusting your policy’s package or purchasing additional coverage. Changes can add to your home warranty cost, but the repair coverage may make it worth it.

If your unit is still under warranty, you may be eligible for repairs or replacements through the manufacturer. Review the manufacturer's warranty for your air conditioning unit, which may cover Freon-related issues.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    FAQ

    What does a home typically warranty cover?

    Home warranties usually cover large appliances, built-in microwaves, water heaters and systems like HVACs, plumbing, ductwork, pool heaters and well pumps. Some plans also cover additional items like pest control, septic systems, central vacuums, sump pumps and more.

    Why was Freon banned?

    The R-22 ban was part of a global initiative to prevent further damage to the Earth’s ozone layer.

    What are some alternatives to Freon?

    A popular option to replace R-22 is R-410A. R-410A is available under different brand names such as GENTRON AZ-20, SUVA 410A and PURON.

    Bottom line

    Some home warranty plans may cover the cost of adding or replacing Freon in your air conditioning system. However, coverage for Freon can vary depending on the specific terms of your home warranty contract and the provider you choose. Reviewing your policy to understand what is covered and any limitations or exclusions that may apply to Freon-related repairs or replacements can prevent your claim from being denied.


    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Phasing Out HCFC Refrigerants to Protect The Ozone Layer.” Accessed April 4, 2024.
    2. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, “Refrigerants and Your Air Conditioner.” Accessed April 4, 2024.
    3. First American Home Warranty, “The R-22 Phaseout: We’ve Got it Covered.” Accessed April 4, 2024.
    4. American Home Shield, “Air Conditioner Warranty Coverage.” Accessed April 4, 2024.
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