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 has to have refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was put in, 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 Excelsior Springs, plus how these phaseouts affect you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Discontinued?

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 816-379-3918. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will contain info on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.

Freon, which is also called 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 oversees refrigerants in the United States, banned its creation and import in January 2020.

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It varies. If your air conditioning is operating properly, 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 reports that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!

If you keep your air conditioner, it could create a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be higher-priced, 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 use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it needs a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. As a result, it may also eventually be phased out. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming possibility—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be forwarded on to you through your energy bills.

Colvin's Heating and Cooling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant repairs may be more costly due to the low levels on hand.

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

If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we suggest installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and could even decrease your energy costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Colvin's Heating and Cooling offers many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 816-379-3918 to begin right away with a free estimate.