Which Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.

Based on when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Beaverton, plus how these phaseouts impact you.

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

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 503-374-1934. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will include details on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

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

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

It depends. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to use it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate 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 expenses!

If you keep your air conditioner, it may create an issue if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be more expensive, because only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

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

However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it may also sometime be ended. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have started 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 around 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 electrical costs.

Garoken Energy Co. Inc. Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you very much until you have to have repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs might be more expensive since there are the reduced amounts available.

Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re receiving lots of other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we advise upgrading to an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and may even reduce your electrical costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Garoken Energy Co. Inc. offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 503-374-1934 to get started now with a free estimate.