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R-410A Refrigerant Phase Out

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The Environmental Protection Agency, as part of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, has been empowered to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere with a target of 85% reduction by 2026. As part of this goal, the EPA has introduced rules and a phaseout plan to restrict the use of high-GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerants in HVAC systems. On January 1, 2025 new regulations are coming that will restrict the manufacturing and import of systems that use the phased-out refrigerant.

What Is R-410A Refrigerant and Why Is It Being Phased Out?

R-410A

R-410A is a high-efficiency, low-toxicity HFC refrigerant commonly used in air conditioners and heat pumps. R-410A became one of the most common refrigerants in use since the phase-out of R-22, which is commonly known as freon. Despite its high-efficiency rate and the fact that it does not contribute to ozone layer depletion, it is a potent greenhouse gas with a GWP of 2088. This indicates that even small leaks of this refrigerant in HVAC systems can significantly impact the environment. As the R-410A refrigerant is phased out and newer eco-friendly refrigerants are introduced, it will impact the availability and cost of new HVAC systems for homeowners. It is important to note that homeowners with systems using R-410A are not required to upgrade, but should be aware of the changeout and how it affects them, especially if they have older systems and are planning to replace in the near future. 

How Homeowners Can Prepare for the R-410A Refrigerant Phase Out

The R-410A refrigerant phase-out is a significant change for homeowners, reducing the environmental impact of HVAC systems. 

A current R-410A system will still be able to be serviced and maintained. But when it’s time to replace your unit, you’ll want to upgrade to a system that uses the new refrigerant.

Air Conditioners are not cross-compatible between refrigerants, which means manufacturers are in the process of changing out their production lines now in preparation for the new regulations on January 1st, 2025. New system prices will increase as manufacturers look to recoup those change-out costs as well as the research and development costs of creating compliant systems. Homeowners with older AC’s that use R-410A should be aware of their options and where their current AC is in its lifecycle when making decisions about repair or replacement.   New systems using the new refrigerant will be more expensive to purchase and install but systems that use the old refrigerant may be more expensive to repair due to the scarcity of R-410A as the phaseout continues.

Perform Maintenace on your HVAC Systems Before the Phase-Out

Before phase-out begins, check your HVAC system’s R-410A levels and operating efficiency to minimize phase-out impact. An HVAC technician can evaluate your system and offer necessary adjustments or repairs, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.

Upgrade HVAC Systems Before the Phase-Out

Before phase-out begins, consider if it’s time to upgrade your system. The phaseout will increase the prices of systems so it may be advantageous to replace your system if you have been considering it in the near future.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is critical for the efficiency and operation of your HVAC system. Schedule regular visits with your HVAC professional to inspect for leaks and other issues that may affect its performance. This is important regardless of the refrigerant is uses.

Refrigerant Global Warming Potential Table

Below is a table of different refrigerants and their Global Warming Potential.

Refrigerant

R-410A

R-22

R-32

R-454B

GWP

2088

1810

675

470


FAQs

What refrigerant will replace R-410A in 2025?

A common replacement for R-410A will be R-454B. During testing, it has proven to be more consistent in long-line settings. It has a 78% lower GWP than previous refrigerants and will improve equipment performance with little modification to installation requirements.

What are the current regulations for low GWP refrigerants?

High-ozone-depletion-potential refrigerants, like R-22, were phased out during the last refrigerant transition. The refrigerant used in the HVAC industry today, R-410A, has a substantial Global Warming Potential of up to 2088 but does not contribute to the ozone layer’s thinning. Manufacturers are required by the Environmental Protection Agency to transition to a refrigerant with a GWP of 700 or less by January 1, 2025.

What are the new 2024 EPA refrigerant regulations?

The EPA has proposed regulations banning hydrofluorocarbons in HVAC systems, with a 40% phase-down starting in 2024, reducing production and consumption allowances by 40% compared to previous years.

What refrigerant is being phased out in 2024?

The HFCs and HFC-blend refrigerants that are being phased out are:

  • R-410A
  • R-404A
  • R-134A
  • R-407C is used to replace R-22.

What are the low-GWP refrigerants for HVAC?

New regulations have led to the development of low-GWP refrigerants such as R-32 and R-454B. These offer comparable efficiency and capacity to their intended replacements.

What are A2L refrigerants?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers created a subgroup of refrigerants called A2L. “A” refers to non-toxic, “2” refers to the flammability level, and “L” refers to the low burning velocity.

Conclusion

R-410A is a refrigerant that is classified as a greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential and a negative impact on the climate. It is being phased out for a more environmentally friendly solution for HVAC systems. Knowing the age of your system and the refrigerant it uses is key for homeowners when deciding whether to repair or replace their unit this summer. If you have any questions or are interested in a new HVAC system quote, contact the air conditioning repair, maintenance, and emergency HVAC specialists at Classic Aire Care.

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Earn Up to $1,450 in Rebates on High Efficiency Systems Expires 06/30/2024 Only At Classic Aire Care Rebate amounts vary based on equipment selected. All rebates and terms will be itemized in writing prior to purchase.
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