New Refrigerants Required in Air Conditioning Systems in 2010 and Beyond
You probably don’t know it, but you’re likely using R-22 refrigerant in your current AC system. R-22 will be in production until 2020, so you don’t need to make any drastic changes with your existing system; however, when you are ready to replace your current AC system with a new high efficiency alternative, R-410A will be the new equipment standard. By law, in 2010 and beyond, new equipment manufactured is mandated to be produced without R22.
In 1987, the Montreal Protocol, an international environmental agreement, established requirements that began the worldwide phase-out of ozone-depleting CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons.) This Protocol is carried out in the United States as part of the Clean Air Act, which is implemented by the EPA.
A TALE OF TWO REFRIGERANTS
A chemical compound known as R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice for residential heat pump and air conditioning systems for more than four decades. Unfortunately for the environment, releases of R-22 that result from system leaks contribute to ozone depletion. The air conditioning industry, therefore, has sought a suitable replacement. The replacement refrigerant of choice is R-410A. Unlike R-22, R-410A contains no chlorine in its chemical make-up. R-410A meets the stringent mandates of both the Montreal Protocol and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
IS R-22 OBSOLETE?
Nearly all residential air conditioning systems in use utilize R-22 refrigerant. Should consumers be concerned? The truth, as stated by the Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is as follows:
Refrigerant 22 is regulated by international controls under the Montreal Protocol and in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency. It has a long life ahead of it as it is scheduled to be in production until the year 2020. It is used in approximately 95% of the equipment produced in the United States today.
The EPA has stated that even after the year 2020, use of existing refrigerant will be allowed to service existing systems. In short, we believe that there is no need for concern, and that R-22 prices will stay stable for in the near future.
WHAT CONSUMERS SHOULD DO
You, as a responsible consumer, are no doubt interested in preserving the environment. What can you do? According to an EPA bulletin:
One important thing a homeowner can do for the environment, regardless of the refrigerant used, is to select a reputable dealer that employs service technicians who are EPA certified to handle refrigerants. Conditioned Air’s Technicians and Installers are EPA certified.
The EPA goes on to say:
Another important thing a homeowner can do for the environment is to purchase a highly energy- efficient system.
Be sure to read below about the benefits of today’s high efficiency systems.
Monitor Your Temperature and Humidity with MyComfortMonitor®
6 Tips for Keeping Your Home Affordably Comfortable
Top Questions Our Customers Ask Us
The Danger of Ignoring Air Conditioning Problems
Why Routine Maintenance Visits Are Important
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
How Much Could You Save On Your Cooling Bill With a High Efficiency System
Why a Load Calculation is Essential to Properly Size Your Air Conditioning Needs
Complimentary Residential Air Conditioning eBook
Back to Residential