In 1987, a little-known piece of international environmental protection legislation called the Montreal Protocol was passed in response to growing concerns over ozone depletion. Among its provisions was an eventual ban on the air conditioner refrigerant R-22, which contains chlorine, a gas known to create harmful by-products.
While the Montreal Protocol allowed for the production of R-22 to continue until the year 2020, it also stipulated that all air conditioners produced in the year 2010 and beyond would not use R-22. Because R-22 has been the standard AC refrigerant for more than 40 years, it’s important that you learn about the alternatives that the HVAC industry has helped develop.
A chemical known as R-410A has become the most popular replacement for R-22. It contains no chlorine and is significantly less harsh on the environment. Still, it is only one of numerous options consumers have, and making an informed choice is the key to reducing the impact of your carbon footprint.
Other modern “R-series” refrigerants include R-134A and R-407C. These gases are similar in makeup to R-410A, but have a broader range of applications. While air conditioning systems that use these gases instead of R-22 are more costly, it is expected that the end price of HVAC units using them will go down as they become a universal standard and technological improvements enable manufacturers to lower their production costs.
If you need advice on new HVAC systems or the refrigerants they use, contact us at Conditioned Air. We’ve been serving southwest Florida for nearly half a century.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about refrigerant options for air conditioners and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.