In our final post in this series about industry changes to air conditioner refrigerants, we’ll discuss the future of refrigerants and what St. Louis area homeowners can expect after the R22 refrigerant phase-out.

As we said in our last post, R22 refrigerant will cease production in 2020. In its place is R410a, a refrigerant that’s being used in all newly installed air conditioners in the United States.

The history of R410a refrigerant

R410a refrigerant was developed by Allied Signal (now known as Honeywell) in 1991. Although its production still contributes to global warming, R410a does not deplete the ozone layer like R22 refrigerant. R410a goes by several trade names, most commonly known as Puron.

Benefits of R410a refrigerant

The most obvious benefit of R410a refrigerant is that it doesn’t deplete the ozone layer, which was the whole point of the R22 phaseout. But R410a refrigerant is also more efficient than R22. That means St. Louis area homeowners can see decreases in their energy bills by switching to an R410a unit. Also, as the R22 phase out continues, R22 refrigerant will get more and more expensive, meaning homeowners can also save money on future repairs by switching to an R410a unit.

Installing units that use R410a refrigerant

R410a refrigerant operates at a higher pressure than other refrigerants, so new air conditioner parts had to be designed to handle this new refrigerant.

As a result, you cannot add R410a to a unit that uses R22 refrigerant, and R410a is not allowed in retrofits. To use R410a, you need to install a new air conditioner. Although this might be an expensive upgrade, you’ll save money on future energy savings by avoiding rising R22 prices. You’ll also have the peace of mind that your new unit is having a positive impact on the environment.

If you have any questions about R410a refrigerant, or if you’d like to install a new air conditioner in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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