Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it needs refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.

Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Elk River, in addition to how these phaseouts have on influence on you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 763-276-0617. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will have information on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, barred its creation and import in January 2020.

I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?

It varies. If your air conditioning is cooling properly, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!

If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it may lead to an issue if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, since only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. Because it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it could also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be sent on to you through your energy expenses.

Home Comfort Heating & Air Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we reviewed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs can be more costly due to the reduced quantities that are accessible.

In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing lots of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we advise getting a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a hassle-free summer and can even reduce your cooling costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Home Comfort Heating & Air offers many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 763-276-0617 to begin right away with a free estimate.