Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.

Subject to 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 Rapid City, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 605-206-3766. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will have details on what type of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also known 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 manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its creation and import in January 2020.

I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?

It depends. If your air conditioning is running properly, you can continue to run it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!

If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it can create a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, as only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it requires an incompatible pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it might also eventually be ended. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

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

Precision Mechanical Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you need repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs may be pricier because of the restricted levels on hand.

Aside from that, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, typically on the muggiest 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 advise upgrading to an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and may even reduce your utility costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Precision Mechanical provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 605-206-3766 to get started right away with a free estimate.