How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is bound by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Paxinos, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 570-648-0748. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will include details on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, barred its production and import in January 2020.

I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?

It varies. If your air conditioning is running correctly, 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 reports that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it might cause an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, as only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it needs a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. Because of that, it could also sometime be ended. Although it hasn’t been disclosed 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 is classified low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy consumption by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be sent on to you through your electrical bills.

LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you need repairs. But as we went over previously, refrigerant repairs could be more expensive because of the limited amounts available.

In addition to that, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we advise getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and may even decrease your energy expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 570-648-0748 to get started now with a free estimate.