How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, since it contains chemicals.

Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, 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 Holdrege, plus how these phaseouts have on influence on you.

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

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 308-995-8177. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will have details on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical 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 creation and import in January 2020.

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

It varies. If your air conditioning is operating properly, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run 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 bills!

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it might lead to difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, as only limited levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it needs an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to create global warming. As a consequence, it could also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the end, 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 reduces 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 utility expenses.

Durable Service Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you need repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant repairs could be pricier due to the low quantities available.

In addition to that, your air conditioner usually malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re receiving a lot of other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on a phased out refrigerant or is aging, we recommend upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and may even lower your utility costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Durable Service has many financing options to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 308-995-8177 to start now with a free estimate.