We know Dallas for its hot and humid climate. If you live in Dallas, you must be using your air conditioning system throughout the summer. And if you have interests in air conditioner refrigerant or HVAC in general, you probably heard about R22 refrigerant phase-out. It’s time to adopt R-410a, if you aren’t already.
Everything You Need to Know about Air Conditioner Refrigerant: Types, Phase-Out, etc.
How Do Air Conditioners Work?
The main function of an AC is to keep your area cool. An air conditioner has two units – indoor unit and outdoor unit. The outdoor unit of the cooling system comprises a compressor, and condenser coil. On the other hand, the AC’s indoor unit has an evaporator coil, air handler, and fan.
All these units need to function together to make your home cool, and refrigerant plays a major role in keeping all the units connected.
What is Air Conditioning Refrigerant?
Air conditioner refrigerant is a liquid that flows between the outdoor and indoor unit. When you turn on your air conditioner unit, this refrigerant liquid flows and absorbs the heat from your space. After absorbing the heat from your home or office space, it releases the heat to the outside or condenser unit. Thus, it makes your area cool and gives you comfort.
Why Must Homeowners Check AC Refrigerant?
As I mentioned above, the refrigerants absorb the heat from your space and keep your area cool. But when there are low refrigerants in your air conditioner, your air conditioning system won’t be able to absorb heat properly, and you won’t get your desired temperature.
Usually, refrigerants leak in older air conditioners. That’s why if you have an older HVAC system, you should check the refrigerant level of your cooling unit constantly. If you find out that there is a leak in the AC, it’s better to call an HVAC professional and service or repair it as soon as possible. However, if your residential air conditioner is more than ten years old, it’s better to invest in a new air conditioner. Because as the HVAC systems age, it starts to become less efficient and consume more electricity.
3 Types of Air Conditioning Refrigerants
This type of refrigerant is very harmful to the ozone layer and consists of the R12. That’s why the EPA has banned the use of this refrigerant.
HCFC Home Refrigerant
HCFC has harmful Freon R22 that increases the greenhouse gas in the environment. However, it may not be as harmful as the CFC to the ozone layer, but still, we should not use R22 refrigerant as an AC refrigerant. Considering the greenhouse gas effect, EPA has ordered a phase-out of R22 by 2020. After 2020, R22 refrigerant is now completely banned, and it’s illegal to use R22 as an AC refrigerant.
If your AC is old, chances are your AC uses the R 22 refrigerant. As the EPA has planned to phase out R22, these refrigerant prices are a record high. That’s why it’s best to switch to a new air conditioner and save money.
This is the safest refrigerant type available in the market. It has no harmful chlorine gas in it. R-410a refrigerant falls under this category and it is environmentally friendly. That’s why, there is no restriction to use R 410A in your air conditioners.
If you used other refrigerant types in your heating and cooling system, it’s the best time to replace it with the HFC because after the phase-out, the production of the banned refrigerants will be halted. And when there is no production, prices will go up too.
See the summary of this article here in an infographic – 3 Types of AC Refrigerants [Infographic]
FAQs about Refrigerant
When to Upgrade?
To check whether you need to update your heating and cooling system or not, go to the outdoor unit of your air conditioner and check if it has R22 written on it or not. If you find out that your AC is using the banned R-22, you must think about AC replacement as soon as possible.
Can I Use R-410A in My Old Cooling System?
If you have an old heating and cooling system that uses R22 as a refrigerant, you simply cannot move to the R-410A. Because your air conditioner may not be compatible with the R-410A. In this case, you’ll have to switch to a new AC and replace the R22 with the R-410A.
What to Do If My AC is Leaking Refrigerant?
As soon as you find out that your AC is leaking refrigerant, you must call an HVAC professional and fix it ASAP. Because when there is a leak in the AC, it can damage other parts as well. As a result, the chances of hefty repairs will increase.
What are the Signs of Refrigerant Leaks?
If you’re having a cooling problem in your space, there is a solid chance of a leak in your AC. Besides, if you see ice on the evaporator coil of your AC or having high utility bills, you’re likely to have a leak.
Impact of Banning Production of the R 22?
As the production of the R22 is currently banned, you won’t get R-22 anymore. Even if you do, you’ll have to pay a hefty price for it. But as a responsible citizen, you shouldn’t use such harmful substances in your AC.
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