How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

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

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

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

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 570-244-2510. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will have info on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.

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

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It varies. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may create a problem if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, since only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.

With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. As it needs a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. As a consequence, it could also ultimately be ended. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.

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

In preparation of the discontinuation, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming likelihood—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy expenditure by approximately 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 utility bills.

Lycoming Heating Company Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we mentioned beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant might be more expensive due to the restricted amounts on hand.

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

If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend installing an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and can even lower your energy expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Lycoming Heating Company provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 570-244-2510 to get started today with a free estimate.