The traditional R-22 refrigerant is being phased out in favor of the newer, more environmentally-friendly R-410A refrigerant for A/C systems around the United States.

The phaseout officially takes place in 2020. However, the supply of R-22 has dwindled as companies have gotten ahead of the curve. These companies have already installed a large number of R-410A units. R-410A is becoming prevalent in the field. With the rise of R-410A, R-22 is becoming scarcer, and that’s likely to result in higher costs. Since R-22 will continue to be available for a few years, HVAC technicians will find themselves working with both R-22 and R-410A units in the field.

R-22 vs. R-410A

R-22 and R-410A, while intended for the same type of applications, are very different refrigerants. Therefore, it is a bad idea to mix them. The equipment we use for each of them will also differ. Neither refrigerant can be used to top off a system that contains the other. Similarly, units designed for one refrigerant cannot be charged with the other. Cross-charging can result in poor or no operation, equipment failure, or safety hazards (in extreme cases).

If you’ve been considering replacing an old air cooling system with a new energy-efficient system, now may be the time to act and for several reasons. In addition to saving on the cost of refrigerant, you will also be getting ahead of the increased demand for new A/C systems that will accompany the R-22 phaseout in the coming years. Many industry experts predict a spike in prices leading up to and during 2020.

Should you be planning to replace your Air Conditioner soon? Give a licensed, local expert a call and have a system evaluation done during your next maintenance. If you’re in Central Florida, visit our website to have one of our experts service your air conditioner with annual maintenance!