Which Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are 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 house cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, as it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was added to your home, 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 Monroe, as well as how these phaseouts impact 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 find out if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 608-291-3606. 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 type of refrigerant your AC needs.

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

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It depends. If your air conditioning is cooling as designed, you can continue to keep it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling expenses!

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may create a problem if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, because only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the discontinuation of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it needs a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.

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

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the end, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming likelihood—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy use by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be sent on to you through your cooling expenses.

Lanz Furnace and Fireplace Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you very much until you require repairs. But as we reviewed earlier, refrigerant-related repairs can be pricier due to the low levels available.

Not to mention, your air conditioner usually malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re getting many other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is aging, we recommend installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and might even decrease your utility bills, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Lanz Furnace and Fireplace has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 608-291-3606 to begin now with a free estimate.