Which Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

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

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

What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at (337) 234-2345. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will contain info on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.

Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for 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 differs. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to run it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!

If you keep your air conditioner, it may lead to difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be more expensive, as only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it requires a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

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

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

In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be passed on to you through your electrical bills.

AC Sales Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant repairs may be pricier because of the low levels on hand.

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

If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and can even reduce your cooling costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, AC Sales provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at (337) 234-2345 to begin right away with a free estimate.