How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.

Based on when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in South Beloit and Belvidere, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.

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

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 877-389-2465. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will include info on what type of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates 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 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 bills!

If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might create an issue if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, as only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer healthy. Since it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it could also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

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

Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you require repairs. But as we talked about earlier, refrigerant repairs can be more costly due to the reduced levels on hand.

Aside from that, your air conditioner often malfunctions at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re receiving many other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and could even reduce your utility expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 877-389-2465 to start now with a free estimate.