Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.

Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Racine, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.

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

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 262-358-9468. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will have info on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees refrigerants in the United States, banned its manufacture and import in January 2020.

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It depends. If your air conditioning is working properly, you can continue to keep it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling expenses!

If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might create difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, since only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

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

However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. Because of that, it could also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers 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 decreases energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be forwarded on to you through your electrical costs.

Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you need repairs. But as we reviewed beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant may be more costly due to the limited levels that are accessible.

Not to mention, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re receiving lots of other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we suggest getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and may even reduce your cooling bills, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 262-358-9468 to start right away with a free estimate.