Which Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, since 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 Huffman, as well as 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 probably contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 832-777-1521. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will have information on what model of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be bad for 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 production and import in January 2020.

I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?

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

If you keep your air conditioner, it could lead to a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be more expensive, because only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the discontinuation of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it requires an incompatible pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it may also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected 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 ranks low for global warming likelihood—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy use by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be passed on to you through your energy costs.

Air Houston Mechanical LLC Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you very much until you need repairs. But as we mentioned beforehand, refrigerant repairs could be pricier since there are the limited quantities that are accessible.

Aside from that, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re receiving lots of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we recommend upgrading to an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and might even decrease your electrical costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Air Houston Mechanical LLC provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 832-777-1521 to start now with a free estimate.