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Which Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think often about how your air conditioner operates, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.

Depending on 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 Portland, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.

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

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 503-213-4433. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will have info on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes 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 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 differs. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to run it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling expenses!

If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might cause difficulties if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be more expensive, since only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it could also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have initiated 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 reduces energy use by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be sent on to you through your cooling costs.

Three Rivers Heating & Cooling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you require repairs. But as we went over beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant may be pricier due to the limited levels available.

Aside from that, your air conditioner typically malfunctions at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re receiving lots of other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a phased out refrigerant or is aging, we advise getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and may even lower your utility costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Three Rivers Heating & Cooling offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 503-213-4433 to begin today with a free estimate.