How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.

Based on when your air conditioner was added to your home, 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 Ellsworth, plus how these phaseouts have on influence on you.

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

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 715-318-6728. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will contain information on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also called R-22, contains 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, banned its creation and import in January 2020.

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It differs. If your air conditioning is working properly, you can continue to run it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to work 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 bills!

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it can cause an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, as only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it calls for a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. Because of that, it could also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

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

Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you need repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant repairs might be pricier since there are the restricted levels available.

Aside from that, your air conditioner often malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and can even reduce your energy bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 715-318-6728 to get started now with a free estimate.