Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner operates, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.

Based on when your air conditioner was put in, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Saint Petersburg, plus how these phaseouts have on influence on you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 727-369-6195. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will have details on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.

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

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

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

If you keep your air conditioner, it may cause an issue if you require air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, since only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

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

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the discontinuation, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by around 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 cooling expenses.

Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we reviewed earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant could be more costly due to the limited levels on hand.

In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re getting lots of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a phased out refrigerant or is aging, we recommend getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and might even reduce your cooling costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 727-369-6195 to get started today with a free estimate.