Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is bound by environmental laws, because of the chemicals it contains.

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 Pella, plus how these phaseouts impact you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it possibly contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 641-628-3621. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your home. This sticker will include info on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

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

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

It depends. If your air conditioning is cooling as designed, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling expenses!

If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might cause a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, as only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.

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

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the end, some companies have initiated 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 use by about 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 cooling bills.

Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we reviewed beforehand, refrigerant repairs could be pricier due to the low amounts on hand.

Not to mention, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re getting many other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and can even reduce your energy bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 641-628-3621 to begin today with a free estimate.