Was your system installed before 2010, then read this!
If your HVAC system is serviced and maintained, you may not be concerned with the latest required type of refrigerant. However, when your HVAC system runs out of refrigerant or needs repairs that require refrigerant to be added to the system, starting in 2024 that may not be an easy process. If your system uses R-22 or R-410A, the new R-454B cannot replace the older refrigerants.
Why another refrigerant
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the HVAC industry needs to lower Hydrofluorocarbons, also known as HFCs, by 85% over the next 15 years. To achieve these goals, several manufacturers will no longer use R410a refrigerants. Starting January 1, 2023, new cooling systems will use R-454B.
Worldwide demand for air conditioning has grown tremendously with environmental consequences. The Environmental Protection Agency was directed to address Hydrofluorocarbons, also known as HFCs, to lower greenhouse gases (https://www.epa.gov/snap/reducing-hydrofluorocarbon-hfc-use-and-emissions-federal-sector-through-snap). The AIM Act was signed into law by President Trump in December 2020, (https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title42-section7675(a)&num=0&edition=prelim).
Older HVAC Systems
If your system was installed before 2010, it most likely used R-22 refrigerant which is no longer legal to import into the United States. While it’s available, it is very expensive. If your system is newer and uses R410A refrigerant, manufacturers will cut production in 2024 and you guessed it, the cost for replacement is expected to increase greatly.
Having your air condenser and furnace inspected and serviced annually can help extend its life. If it’s too late for that, consider replacing your system with the new refrigerant.
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