In additional efforts from the EPA to protect the ozone layer, a monumental change was made in air conditioners and heat pumps back in 2010 when R-22 refrigerant - previously the industry standard - had its usage phased out. By 2015, any products manufactured were required to use R-410A as their chosen refrigerant instead. Fast forward to today and now R-410a, a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) has been deemed to have high global warming potential and could harm the environment if it leaks from a cooling system.
So, 2023 will mark a shift away from R-410a and towards R-454b for new cooling systems, with an 85% cut in manufacture and importation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) over the next 15 years due to its high global warming potential. While this refrigerant has lower environmental consequences than previous ones, it is mildly flammable – don’t worry though, there's no need to panic, Our professionals here at SS&B Heating and Cooling understand how to safely handle such materials with expertise and will try answer all your questions with this article.
What do I do if my air conditioner uses R-410A?
First off, you do not have to replace your system. As long as your current system is well maintained and serviced annually, it can last 15 to 20 years with no problem. That said, even if you do need repairs down the line, there should still be enough R-410a available during the life of your system; however, the cost of repair and then refill that needs R-410A refrigerant will creep up over time due to its limited availability. This makes regular maintenance and care for your air conditioner that much more important.
Could I upgrade or retrofit my current system to use R-454b?
The short answer is no. Refrigerants operate at different pressures, and the components of your air conditioning or heat pump system will not be calibrated to use a different type of refrigerant. In other words, even if you figured out a way to adjust your equipment to handle different refrigerants, the cost would likely approach the price of a new system — not to mention any and all warranties you once had on your air conditioner, would now be null and void.
Air Conditioner Maintenance?
The best option if your current air conditioner seems to be working fine is to sign up for a maintenance plan to ensure you get the most years possible out of your current system, avoiding a replacement. At SS&B Heating & Cooling our maintenance plan start as low as $19.92 per month. You receive air conditioning maintenance visit every season (and one for the heater season), priority scheduling, changing of filters, 10% preferred pricing on repairs, and more! See what service means to us here.
Air Conditioner Replacement?
If you are considering replacement of your current ac system, now really is a good time. As a Top 10 Trane Dealer, we have instant rebates available. In addition to that, our SS&B Service Professionals can walk you through any and all City Utility Rebates and Tax Credits that will stack up the savings on an air conditioner replacement.