Which Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.

Based on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in St. Louis, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 314-262-4541. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will include information on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.

Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates refrigerants in the United States, barred its manufacture and import in January 2020.

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

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

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it could cause an issue if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, because only limited levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. Because it requires a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. As a result, it might also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?

In preparation of the discontinuation, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases 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 energy bills.

Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you need repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant-related repairs could be more costly because of the low quantities that are accessible.

In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we suggest upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and can even decrease your energy expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 314-262-4541 to start now with a free estimate.