What Kind of Air Conditioning Refrigerants Are Used in Bowie, MD?

If you live in Bowie, MD, and own an air conditioner, you’ve probably heard terms like R-22, R-410A, Freon, and Puron thrown around. These terms refer to types of air conditioner refrigerants, which are essential for your air conditioning system to function properly.

Understanding these refrigerants and other refrigerant regulations can help you make informed decisions about maintaining or upgrading your air conditioner or heat pump. At Grove Heating & Cooling, we’re here to guide you through the evolving landscape of air conditioner refrigerants.

The Role of Refrigerants in Air Conditioners

Air conditioner refrigerant is a chemical compound that absorbs heat from the warm air indoors and releases it outside, creating cool air for your home in the process. The efficiency and environmental impact of your air conditioner heavily depend on the type of refrigerant it uses. Over the years, advancements in refrigerant technology have aimed to improve energy efficiency and reduce or eliminate the use of any environmentally hazardous refrigerant.

Types of AC Refrigerant Used in Air Conditioners

R-22 Refrigerant

R-22, also known as Freon, was once the most common refrigerant used in air conditioning systems. It was prized for its effectiveness and reliability. However, R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which contributes significantly to ozone depletion and global warming. Due to these environmental concerns, the production and importation of R-22 have been heavily regulated and gradually phased out.

The R-22 Phase-Out

The phase-out of R-22 began with the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty agreed upon in 1987 to reduce substances that deplete the ozone layer. Since January 1, 2010, R-22 has been completely phased out for use in newly manufactured AC system equipment and heat pumps.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated a complete phase-out by January 1, 2020, which means no new R-22 can be produced or imported. Only existing supplies and recycled or reclaimed R-22 can be used for air conditioning repairs to an existing AC unit.

For homeowners in Bowie, MD, this phase-out means that maintaining older air conditioners that use R-22 can become increasingly expensive and challenging. As the availability of R-22 diminishes, prices for the remaining supplies have skyrocketed, making refrigerant leaks much more expensive to repair. Additionally, servicing these older units is becoming more difficult due to the lack of parts and refrigerant.

R-410A AC Refrigerant

In response to the environmental issues posed by previous refrigerants like R-22, R-410A was developed as a more eco-friendly alternative. R-410A, also known by the brand name Puron, is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant that does not deplete the ozone layer. It also operates at a higher pressure than R-22, which requires specially designed compressors and components in the air conditioning systems.

R-410A quickly became the standard for new residential and commercial air conditioning systems. Its improved energy efficiency and lower environmental impact made it a preferable choice for both manufacturers and consumers. Many homeowners in Bowie, MD, have upgraded their old R-22 systems to new R-410A systems to benefit from these advancements.

The R-410A Phase-Out

Despite its advantages, R-410A is not without its environmental issues. While it does not harm the ozone layer, it has a high global warming potential (GWP) that contributes to the greenhouse gas effect when a refrigerant leak occurs. Recognizing the need for even more environmentally friendly alternatives, the EPA and other regulatory bodies worldwide have initiated a phase-down of high-GWP refrigerants, including R-410A.

In the coming years, R-410A will be gradually phased out in favor of new refrigerants with lower GWPs. Some HVAC manufacturers have already started producing new systems with AC refrigerant alternatives, but starting in 2025, no new HVAC systems will be made using R-410A and you won’t be able to install a new air conditioner that uses it. This phase-out process aims to reduce the overall impact of HVAC systems on global warming, pushing for more sustainable solutions in the industry.

The Future: R-454B and R-32

As the HVAC professional industry moves towards more sustainable practices, new refrigerants like R-454B and R-32 are emerging as the next generation of cooling solutions.


Known commercially as Opteon™ XL41, R-454B is a blend of two refrigerants: R-32 and R-1234yf. It has a significantly lower GWP than R-410A, making it a more environmentally friendly option. R-454B also offers similar performance characteristics to R-410A when it comes to how air conditioners work, allowing for a smoother transition in the manufacturing and servicing of air conditioning systems. Many experts believe that R-454B will become the primary replacement for R-410A in residential and commercial applications.


R-32 is a single-component refrigerant that also boasts a lower GWP compared to R-410A. It is already widely used in many parts of the world and is gaining popularity in the United States. R-32 is efficient and requires less refrigerant charge than R-410A systems, which can lead to cost savings and improved energy efficiency. Its adoption is expected to increase as the phase-out of R-410A progresses.

What Do AC Refrigerant Regulations Mean for Your Air Conditioner?

The landscape of air conditioner refrigerants is continually evolving, driven by environmental concerns and regulatory changes. From the phase-out of R-22 to the introduction of R-410A and the upcoming transition to R-454B and R-32, each step represents a move towards more sustainable and efficient cooling solutions.

For homeowners in Bowie, MD, staying informed and making proactive decisions about repairing or replacing air conditioning systems can lead to better performance, cost savings, and a reduced environmental impact.

At Grove Heating & Cooling, we’re committed to helping you navigate these changes and find the best solutions for your home. Whether you’re facing the need to make air conditioning repairs to an older system or looking to install a new air conditioner, we’re here to assist you. Contact us today to talk about your cooling needs.

Google Reviews