Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your residence cold. 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 Bartlesville, 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 added before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 918-534-8194. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will have information on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.

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

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

It varies. If your air conditioning is operating as designed, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!

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

With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

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

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, 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 decreases energy expenditure by approximately 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 utility costs.

Farris Heating & Air Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we went over previously, refrigerant-related repairs can be pricier because of the restricted amounts available.

In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the warmest day when we’re receiving lots of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and could even reduce your utility bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Farris Heating & Air offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 918-534-8194 to start right away with a free estimate.