Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home 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 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 Ballwin and St. Charles, in addition to 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 has it by contacting us at 636-206-4250. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will contain info on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

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

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

It differs. If your air conditioning is operating correctly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that substituting 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 can cause difficulties if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, since only small amounts 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 developed to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it could also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?

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

Air Alliance Team Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we mentioned earlier, refrigerant repairs may be more expensive due to the limited levels on hand.

Aside from that, your air conditioner usually needs repair at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and may even lower your electrical costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Air Alliance Team provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 636-206-4250 to begin right away with a free estimate.