Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner operates, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Derby, plus 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 contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 203-772-8319. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your house. This sticker will have information on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.

Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, barred its manufacture and import in January 2020.

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It depends. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to run it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may create difficulties if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, since only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it calls for a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

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

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

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

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

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you need repairs. But as we mentioned previously, refrigerant repairs can be pricier due to the reduced quantities that are accessible.

Aside from that, your air conditioner typically stops working at the worst time, frequently on the warmest day when we’re getting lots of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and may even lower your electrical costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Giordanos Heating and Air Conditioning provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 203-772-8319 to get started today with a free estimate.