You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, because of the chemicals it contains.

Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Houston, plus how these phaseouts affect you.

What’s R-22 and Why Is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 713-322-4318. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will include info on what model of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, banned its production and import in January 2020.

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

It differs. If your air conditioning is running 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 reports that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!

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

With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it requires a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. As a result, it may also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy expenditure by about 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 expenses.

Air Current AC & Heat Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you require repairs. But as we went over earlier, refrigerant-related repairs might be more costly since there are the restricted quantities available.

Not to mention, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re receiving a lot of other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a trouble-free summer and may even lower your electrical expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Air Current AC & Heat has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 713-322-4318 to get started now with a free estimate.