Learn Which Refrigerant Types Are Allowed in Your AC

Refrigerant types for air conditioners have evolved over decades, becoming more efficient and effective. In recent years, however, increasing more attention has focused on the environmental safety of these chemicals, making many refrigerant types no longer legal to use. Research revealed that the most common of refrigerant types utilized in residential air conditioners — designated R-22 — degraded the Earth’s ozone layer. As a result, R-22 was banned in new air conditioners manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010.

The Next Phase

The first phase of the ban on R-22 in new air conditioners did not impact existing air conditioners that still utilized this older refrigerant. During the 10-year span following the 2010 manufacture ban, supplies of R-22 were still available to repair and recharge these units, although amounts were gradually being reduced. As of Jan. 1, 2020, the next phase of the worldwide legislation took effect. Manufacture, import, and sales of all new R-22 refrigerant was totally banned.

What It Means for You

If you own an older air conditioner that utilizes R-22, you can continue to operate the unit. However, if the AC should require repair that includes a refrigerant recharge, only recycled R-22 will be available, since new supplies are no longer manufactured.

Due to dwindling availability, recycled R-22 refrigerant is increasingly more expensive. Since air conditioner repairs are frequently related to low refrigerant or other issues that require recharging the system, sooner or later, the cost to repair an aging R-22 air conditioner is likely to be prohibitive for most homeowners.

The Good News

In addition to safeguarding our environment and preserving the Earth’s vital ozone layer, upgrading to an R-410A air conditioner now also confers these benefits:

  • Absorbs heat more efficiently than R-22 for better cooling performance.
  • Reduced wear and tear on moving parts, such as the compressor.
  • Lower repair costs because R-410A is widely available and economical.
  • R-410A air conditioners typically incorporate other higher technology and lower operating costs and achieve longer expected service life.

For more about the pros and cons of refrigerant types, ask the pros at Paitson Bros., now in our 99th year of helping the Wabash Valley stay comfortable in all seasons.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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