How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.

Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Hamilton, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.

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

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 513-268-5164. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will have info on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon 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, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

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

If you keep your air conditioner, it can lead to a problem if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, as only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the end 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 in good shape. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it could also ultimately be phased out. 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 discontinuation, some manufacturers have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy use 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 utility bills.

Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we mentioned earlier, refrigerant repairs may be pricier because of the reduced amounts available.

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

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and may even lower your cooling expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 513-268-5164 to start now with a free estimate.