How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.

Subject to when your air conditioner was put in, 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 Long Beach, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.

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

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 562-286-6624. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will contain info on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also called R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be damaging to 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 manufacture and import in January 2020.

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

It varies. If your air conditioning is cooling fine, you can continue to keep it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate 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 get a new air conditioner, it might create a problem if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be higher-priced, as only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

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

However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it could also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy use by about 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 energy expenses.

YES R&M Inc. Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we mentioned earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant may be pricier due to the reduced amounts on hand.

Not to mention, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re getting many other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we advise upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a trouble-free summer and can even reduce your energy expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, YES R&M Inc. offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 562-286-6624 to start now with a free estimate.