How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, as 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 Cape Coral, 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 probably uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 239-214-0411. You can also inspect 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 needs.

Freon, which is also called R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees refrigerants in the United States, banned its manufacture and import in January 2020.

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

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

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it could create difficulties if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be higher-priced, since only small levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer healthy. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to create global warming. Because of that, it could also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

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

In preparation of the end, some companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy use by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be sent on to you through your utility bills.

Comfort Zone Inc Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we went over previously, refrigerant-related repairs could be pricier because of the low levels that are accessible.

In addition to that, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re getting lots of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend installing an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a trouble-free summer and may even reduce your cooling expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Comfort Zone Inc has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 239-214-0411 to start now with a free estimate.