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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 bound by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.

Subject to when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Anchorage, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.

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

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 907-202-9798. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will have info on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.

Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, banned its production and import in January 2020.

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

It differs. If your air conditioning is cooling correctly, you can continue to run it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling expenses!

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it could lead to difficulties if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, as only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. Because of that, it may also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been disclosed 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 ranks low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be forwarded on to you through your utility expenses.

Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you need repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs may be more expensive since there are the low amounts that are accessible.

Aside from that, your air conditioner usually stops working at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re getting many other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and may even decrease your utility costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services has many financing options to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 907-202-9798 to start now with a free estimate.