Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner operates, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.

Depending 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 Bend, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it probably has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 541-238-2797. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will have info on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

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

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It differs. If your air conditioning is running correctly, you can continue to keep it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling bills!

If you keep your air conditioner, it could cause difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, because only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. Because of that, it might also ultimately be ended. Although it hasn’t been announced 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 begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming likelihood—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by around 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 utility expenses.

Tri County Climate Control LLC Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant repairs can be more costly since there are the restricted quantities that are accessible.

Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re getting lots of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and can even reduce your cooling expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Tri County Climate Control LLC has many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 541-238-2797 to get started now with a free estimate.