A key aspect of your air conditioning is the coolant. It absorbs heat and moves it away from your AC unit. This is possible because of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) within the coolant. Some of these are designated ozone depleting substances (ODS). These substances disrupt the ozone layer and contribute to climate change.

Air quality legislation passed in the 1980s and 1990s instructed ODS refrigerants to be phased out by the EPA. New, more efficient substances would replace them and lessen the impact on the ozone.

So, how does this affect you? There are several different types of HFC refrigerants. Each is rated for its environmental impact. Coolants with a lower global warming potential (GWP) are considered more efficient.

The coolant with the highest GWP is R-22. This refrigerant is more widely known as Freon. Freon is being steadily replaced with lower GWP coolants.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely uses R-22. You can find out for sure by checking the nameplate sticker on the side of your air conditioner.

Can R-22 Still Be Used After 2020?

Most HFC refrigerants are compared by their GWP. As of 2020, Freon is no longer in production. You can continue to use a R-22 air conditioner, but keep in mind that any air conditioning repair in Omaha, NE, involving a coolant leak will be extremely expensive. This is because only recycled quantities are available.

If you’re dealing with a coolant leak, we will recommend air conditioning installation in Omaha, NE. New models will use another type of coolant that’s more environmentally friendly.

What Are the Different Types of Refrigerant?


Freon was the most popular coolant for a long time. You can distinguish Freon from other HFC refrigerants through its use of chlorine. This element is responsible for Freon’s high GWP. Other coolants don’t contain chlorine, resulting in a better GWP.

Using Freon is now restricted to stockpiled or recycled sources. If your air conditioner uses Freon, it is a good time to replace it with a new model. These AC systems are more energy efficient and can reduce your monthly cooling bills.

We proudly partner with Lennox®, who offers some of the most energy-efficient and innovative air conditioners on the market. These include the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection, which deliver whisper-quiet cooling that can help you save more on energy bills.


R-410a is currently the most common HFC refrigerant in use. R-410a has a higher heat transfer compared to Freon. This makes it much more efficient than R-22. But R-410a needs higher pressure to work correctly, so older Freon models aren’t always compatible. In fact, switching from Freon to another coolant is usually not the best option. Converting the unit can cost thousands of dollars, so upgrading to another system is generally recommended.

Other Refrigerant Types – R-407c, R-32

There are several other types of HFC refrigerants. These coolants have advantages and drawbacks that are less suited for widespread use. For example, R-407c refrigerant closely matches the composition of R-22. It’s less efficient, but an easier transition away from Freon.

R-32 has one of the lowest GWPs available, approximately a third of Freon’s rating. It’s highly efficient, but also flammable. This makes it difficult to handle. Many brands use R-410a because it’s easier to work with.

A-1 United Offers Efficient Cooling Solutions

A-1 United Heating, Air & Electrical provides quality, affordable air conditioning installation in Omaha, NE, and surrounding areas. Our team of experts can examine your HVAC equipment and recommend a model using the most appropriate refrigerant. We make installation fast and easy, and we’ll keep in excellent shape with routine air conditioning maintenance.

Do you have any questions about your system’s refrigerant? Ask a friendly, knowledgeable pro from A-1 United for help. We can walk you through available coolants and services. Schedule your consultation or appointment today by giving us a call at 402-593-7500.