Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.

Based on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Westerville, plus 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 added before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 614-344-6949. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will include info on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.

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

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It differs. If your air conditioning is running properly, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling expenses!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can lead to a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be higher-priced, since only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the discontinuation of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. Because it requires a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. Because of that, it might also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?

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

Uptown Heating & Cooling Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you need repairs. But as we went over previously, refrigerant-related repairs can be more costly due to the restricted levels on hand.

Not to mention, your air conditioner typically malfunctions at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and might even reduce your cooling bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Uptown Heating & Cooling provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 614-344-6949 to start now with a free estimate.