Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.

Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Shelby, 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 put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 704-233-7363. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your house. This sticker will have info on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.

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

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It differs. If your air conditioning is running fine, you can continue to keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling expenses!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it could cause difficulties if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, because only small levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. As it needs an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. As a consequence, it may also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.

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

In preparation of the phaseout, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming likelihood—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy expenditure by about 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 electrical costs.

Hopper Heating and Air Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs may be more expensive since there are the restricted amounts that are accessible.

In addition to that, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise getting a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and may even lower your utility expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Hopper Heating and Air provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 704-233-7363 to begin right away with a free estimate.