Have you ever wondered how your AC is able to keep your home or workplace nice and cool throughout the year? A substance known as refrigerant plays a vital role in this process. It is a liquid that helps facilitate cooling by being turned into a gas and back into a liquid as a way to capture and remove heat from an area. However, did you know that there are four notable types of AC refrigerants? Learn more about the history of these four AC refrigerants by reading this blog.
A Historical Guide To 4 AC Refrigerants
AC refrigerants have been used to maintain cool indoor temperatures since the early 20th century. Let’s take a look at which ones were used in the past, what is used now, and a possible refrigerant of the future:
Chlorofluorocarbons came in the form of R-11, R-12, and R-115 refrigerants and were a type of freon. R-12 was developed in 1928 by Thomas Midgley, Albert Henne, and Robert McNary. At the time, most refrigerants were toxic and flammable, so these three men were working with General Motors to create an alternative. In the 1980s, however, attention was drawn to its negative effects on the environment, leading it to be phased out in the United States by 1994.
Also known as R-22, freon took over as the default AC refrigerant in U.S. homes. However, like chlorofluorocarbons, R-22 was also discovered to be harmful to the environment by damaging the ozone. Because it was widely used in the U.S., the process of phasing it out was very slow. This phasing-out process was officially kickstarted in the U.S. with the passage of the Clean Air Act of 2010 and was fully out of use by 2020.
Today, R-410A, or Puron, is one of the most widely used AC refrigerants in the country. The main part of R-22 that made it environmentally unfriendly was the inclusion of chlorine, so manufacturers made R-410A as a chlorine-free replacement. While most units are currently manufactured to use R-410A, some people still use ACs that run on R-22. Those who use ACs that use R-22 need to replace their units as soon as they run out of R-22 due to it no longer being in production in the United States.
While R-410A is the go-to refrigerant in the U.S., another one is gaining steam in other parts of the world: R-32. Already used in Japan and China, this refrigerant actually outdoes R-410A in eco-friendliness. For starters, it uses 20% less refrigerant than R-410A, making it more energy-efficient. In fact, half of all window AC units in 2018 were using R-32 instead of R-410A. Perhaps the future of AC refrigerant in the U.S. will take the form of R-32.
Get The Best AC Refrigerants From Same Day Air Duct Cleaning & AC Repair!
We hope you found this historical guide to four AC refrigerants fascinating and informative. It’s important to know which kind of refrigerant your AC uses so you know whether you can obtain more or if you should replace the unit. If your system uses freon, you need to get a new AC as soon as possible. If it uses R-410A, you should have no problem obtaining more refrigerant.
As for who you can trust to provide refrigerant or replace your AC, Same Day Air Duct Cleaning & AC Repair is here for you. Our technicians will help you find the right AC to keep your property nice and cool throughout the year. Just contact us today, and we will get your HVAC system back in optimal working condition.