How to know if your HVAC system is outdated

Many homeowners are beginning to receive word that their HVAC equipment is outdated and that the refrigerant being used is being “phased out” or discontinued. If your equipment uses R-22 or “freon”, then this is true! Although there are still many existing systems that use R-22, the refrigerant and many repair parts like compressors that utilize this refrigerant are currently unavailable from distributors.

What you need to know if your HVAC system uses traditional “freon”

What this means to the homeowner is that once the refrigerant leaks out of the system or equipment is damaged you will likely have no option except to replace your system with a newer R-410A system.

The current standard refrigerant (and that phase out)

As of 2023, R-410A is the primary refrigerant being used throughout residential HVAC markets. However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates refrigerants under the Clean Air Act, is currently phasing out R-410A, similar to the R-22 phaseout.

Why these refrigerants are being phased out

The primary drivers of these phaseouts are the alleged global warming potential and ozone depletion potential of some types of refrigerants. As research on the ozone continues to be performed, the EPA learns more about the impacts of refrigerants on our planet and enacts laws to regulate refrigerant usage.

The future: Environmentally-friendly Refrigerants

In the coming years, equipment utilizing new R-32 and other environmentally sound refrigerants will begin to become available in the US. Markets in Europe and other countries around the world are already utilizing R-32.

What does this mean for equipment that currently uses R-410A?

So here’s a very popular question that we receive from homeowners(and rightfully so)…

“…If my HVAC system needs to be replaced in 2023 or 2024, will there still be R-410A available to service it down the road?”

The answer, according to the EPA and HVAC manufacturers is YES. Manufacturers must legally satisfy equipment warranties that are given, period. The cost of R-410A refrigerant will undoubtedly increase over time, but it will be available for many, many years to come.