You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.

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

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

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it possibly contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 778-693-2532. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will have details on what type of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.

I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?

It depends. If your air conditioning is operating properly, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling bills!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it might create difficulties if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, since only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

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

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy expenditure by around 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 cooling expenses.

Refrigeration Systems Ltd. Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you require repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs might be pricier due to the low levels available.

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

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we recommend installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and might even lower your cooling bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Refrigeration Systems Ltd. provides many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 778-693-2532 to get started now with a free estimate.