Which Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, as it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Rocky Mount, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.

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

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 540-369-3790. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will have details on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.

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

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It varies. If your air conditioning is working as designed, you can continue to use it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling expenses!

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it could lead to difficulties if you require air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, since only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. As a consequence, it could also eventually be ended. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

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

In preparation of the discontinuation, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy expenditure by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be forwarded on to you through your energy bills.

Davis Heating & Air Conditioning Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we reviewed previously, repairs connected to refrigerant can be pricier due to the restricted amounts that are accessible.

In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, often on the warmest day when we’re receiving many other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and could even reduce your utility expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Davis Heating & Air Conditioning has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 540-369-3790 to get started today with a free estimate.