How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.

Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, 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 Marshalltown, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 641-323-1210. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will have details on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.

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

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

It depends. If your air conditioning is running correctly, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!

If you keep your air conditioner, it may cause an issue if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, as only small levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it calls for a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

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

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the discontinuation, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy use 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 electrical costs.

B & G HVAC Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant repairs could be more expensive since there are the low levels available.

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

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and can even decrease your cooling bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, B & G HVAC offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 641-323-1210 to start now with a free estimate.