Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was put in, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in San Jose, plus how these phaseouts affect you.

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

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 408-215-1018. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will include information on what model of refrigerant your AC has.

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

I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?

It varies. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to keep it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate 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 bills!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it could lead to difficulties if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, because only small levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. Because it needs an incompatible pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. Because of that, it may also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

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

American HVAC Inc Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we went over beforehand, refrigerant repairs might be more expensive since there are the restricted quantities that are accessible.

In addition to that, your air conditioner usually stops working at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re receiving many other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and can even reduce your cooling bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, American HVAC Inc offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 408-215-1018 to get started now with a free estimate.