Back in 2020, we talked a lot about the January phase-out of R-22. This was huge, because there were still so many air conditioners in our area and the rest of the United States that used Freon as the primary refrigerant. Sure, no manufacturers were making new systems, but plenty of innocent, unsuspecting homeowners were running into incredibly expensive repairs because of this problem.
So, we understand that 2020 and the first half of 2021 haven’t been even close to normal, but we think it’s time to return to that topic. If you’ve been looking at an air conditioning installation in Albuquerque, NM, or if you’re exploring options for AC repair, and you notice the term “R-410A” refrigerant, or the colloquial term “Puron,” then please keep reading!
We’ll discuss Freon, Puron, and what the January 2020 phase-out means for you and your family. Don’t worry, as long as you’ve got our number, you’ve got a trustworthy professional who can help.
What’s the Difference Between Freon and Puron?
Let’s start with the birth of the air conditioner. When air conditioning was invented, Freon was the perfect substance to act as the medium to draw in heat from the inside of your home and disperse it outside. It does this job exceedingly well to the point where it was manufactured specifically for air conditioning systems.
That being said, as air conditioners became increasingly efficient and as we became more aware of our carbon footprint in the world, it became abundantly clear that Freon was not environmentally friendly. It’s what’s known as an “ozone-depleting substance,” meaning it eats away at the ozone layer which helps protect us from harmful radiation from the sun and from global warming.
Thus, Puron was invented! It does the same job as Freon (albeit at a different pressure) and is a tiny fraction as dense and environmentally destructive as Freon. It’s basically a much more sustainable and long-lasting solution to our AC needs.
Why the Phase-Out?
Once the United States government got wind of the harmful effect that Freon production was causing our planet, it became clear that something needed to be done. Luckily, R-410A (or Puron) refrigerant had already been used for air conditioning systems for a number of years, so the phase-out wasn’t really as serious as it otherwise would have been.
Since January 2020, Freon is not being produced anymore, which means the only existing Freon available for customers comes from old stockpiles or specific vendors that have kept their Freon around.
What Does This Mean for You?
Basically, if you’ve got an older air conditioner that’s been chugging along for 15 years, it might be the perfect time to upgrade it. There’s a slight chance it uses Freon, and that means any repair could cost an arm and a leg due to the outdated parts or the refrigerant that’s incredibly expensive to recharge.
Plus, R-410A is environmentally friendly and systems that utilize it are exceedingly efficient. So you’re better off upgrading your old AC regardless of the type of refrigerant your system uses.