New AC Units & Refrigerant Included? Find Out!

Welcome to our article where we address a common question: do new AC units come with refrigerant? If you’re considering purchasing a new AC unit or wondering about the maintenance of your existing one, understanding the role of refrigerant is crucial. Let’s delve into the details and shed light on this topic.

Key Takeaways:

  • All new AC units come with refrigerant, but the type of refrigerant may vary.
  • AC refrigerants have changed to be more eco-friendly and energy-efficient.
  • It is recommended to leave refrigerant replacement and AC installation to professionals.

How Does Refrigerant Work in AC Units?

AC units diagram

HVAC units play a crucial role in keeping our homes comfortable, especially during hot summers. But have you ever wondered how these units work? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of refrigerants!

When it comes to AC units, refrigerant is the key component responsible for cooling the air. It works by exchanging heat, removing it from your home, and supplying cool air in return. The refrigerant goes through a continuous cycle to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

Here’s a simplified breakdown of how refrigerant works in AC units:

  1. The refrigerant starts as a cool, low-pressure gas in the evaporator coil, located inside your home.
  2. As warm indoor air passes over the evaporator coil, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air and becomes a heated gas.
  3. The heated gas then travels to the exterior unit, called the condenser, through a copper tube.
  4. In the condenser coil, the refrigerant releases the heat it absorbed, transforming back into a cooled liquid.
  5. The cooled liquid refrigerant is then pumped back into the interior unit to repeat the cycle.

This continuous process allows the refrigerant to cool the air inside your home and maintain a pleasant temperature. It’s the magic behind the refreshing breeze and the pleasant escape from scorching heat!

An easy way to visualize this process is through the following diagram:

As you can see, the refrigerant acts as the medium for heat exchange, efficiently removing warm air from your home and supplying cool air in return.

Understanding how refrigerant works in AC units is essential for homeowners to appreciate the inner workings of their HVAC systems and ensure proper maintenance. Remember, always rely on professional technicians for any refrigerant replacements or AC installations to avoid safety risks and ensure optimal performance.

Do I Need to Add Refrigerant to My New AC Unit?

adding refrigerant to new AC units

If you’ve recently purchased a new AC unit, you may be wondering if you’ll need to add refrigerant to it. The good news is that new AC units typically come pre-charged with refrigerant, so you shouldn’t need to worry about adding more right away.

However, it’s important to note that if your new AC unit is not producing cool air, it could be a sign of a refrigerant leak. In this case, it’s recommended to have a professional HVAC technician check for leaks and handle any necessary repairs or refills. Trying to replace refrigerant yourself can be dangerous and may void your warranty.

Signs of a refrigerant leak:What to do:
Warm air blowing from ventsContact a professional HVAC technician
Icing or frost on the evaporator coilsSchedule a maintenance visit
Increased energy billsHave a professional inspect your unit

It’s important to rely on professional expertise when it comes to handling refrigerant in your AC unit. HVAC technicians have the knowledge and equipment to safely diagnose and repair any issues that may arise.

“If your AC unit is not producing cool air, it could be a sign of a refrigerant leak. Contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the issue.”

Remember, maintaining the proper refrigerant levels is crucial for the optimal performance and efficiency of your AC unit. Regular maintenance visits by professionals can help ensure that your unit operates at its best and avoids any unnecessary problems down the line.

Types of Refrigerant in New AC Units

type of refrigerant in new ac units

New AC units come with different types of refrigerants. It is important to understand the type of refrigerant used in your AC unit for proper maintenance and care. Let’s explore the common refrigerants found in new AC units:

  1. R-22 (Freon): R-22 was widely used in older AC units. However, due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer, its production has been phased out.
  2. R-410a (Puron): R-410a is a more eco-friendly refrigerant and is commonly used in new AC units. It offers improved energy efficiency and lowers the environmental impact.
  3. R-454b (Puron Advance): This emerging refrigerant offers even lower environmental impact than R-410a. It is designed to be more efficient and eco-friendly, contributing to a greener future.
  4. R-466a (Solstice N41): Another alternative to R-410a, R-466a has minimal impact on the environment. It provides excellent cooling performance and energy efficiency.

Each refrigerant has its own advantages and considerations. It is crucial to consult with HVAC professionals to determine the most suitable refrigerant for your specific needs and to ensure the proper handling and maintenance of your AC unit.

Image: The image above illustrates the different types of refrigerants commonly used in new AC units.

Can I Replace or Recharge My Refrigerant Myself?

When it comes to replacing or recharging the refrigerant in your AC unit, it is highly recommended to leave the task to the professionals. The process involves handling potentially flammable new refrigerants and requires specialized techniques to ensure safety and efficiency. Additionally, the blend of chemicals in the refrigerant necessitates completely draining the old refrigerant before refilling. Only trained HVAC technicians have the knowledge and expertise to handle refrigerant replacement and recharging properly.

Attempting to replace or recharge the refrigerant yourself can pose significant risks and may result in damage to the unit or even personal injury. It is crucial to prioritize your safety and the optimal functioning of your AC system by relying on skilled professionals for this task.

“When it comes to handling refrigerants, it’s always best to leave it to the experts. HVAC technicians have the necessary training and knowledge to ensure the job is done safely and correctly, protecting both your system’s performance and your own well-being.”

Why leave it to the professionals?

Professional HVAC technicians undergo rigorous training to develop expertise in working with refrigerants and understand the complexities of the process. They are equipped with the necessary tools and safety measures to handle refrigerants effectively, reducing the risk of accidents or mishaps. By entrusting the job to professionals, you can have peace of mind knowing that your AC unit will receive the proper care and attention it requires.

It’s important to remember that refrigerants play a critical role in the overall functioning of your AC system. They are responsible for cooling the air and maintaining optimal temperature conditions. Mishandling or improper replacement of refrigerants can lead to subpar performance, energy inefficiency, or even irreversible damage to the unit.

The role of HVAC professionals

By relying on HVAC professionals for refrigerant replacement and recharging, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Expert assessment: HVAC technicians can accurately diagnose any issues with your AC system and determine whether refrigerant replacement or recharging is necessary.
  • Safety first: Professionals prioritize safety during the entire process and take the necessary precautions to ensure a secure working environment.
  • Proper disposal: HVAC technicians can safely dispose of the old refrigerant, adhering to environmental regulations and minimizing any potential harm.
  • Efficiency and performance: Professionals have the knowledge and experience to ensure the correct type and amount of refrigerant is used, optimizing the performance and energy efficiency of your AC unit.
  • Preventing further damage: HVAC technicians can identify and address any underlying issues that may be causing refrigerant leaks or inefficiencies.

When it comes to the health and longevity of your AC unit, it’s best to trust the experts. Reach out to a reputable HVAC company to schedule a professional refrigerant replacement or recharge service.

Benefits of Professional Refrigerant Replacement
Expert assessment
Safety prioritization
Proper disposal practices
Enhanced efficiency and performance
Prevention of further damage

New SEER Ratings and Efficiency Standards for AC Units

AC Unit Efficiency Standards

Starting in 2023, there will be significant changes in the efficiency standards for new AC units. These changes are aimed at reducing energy consumption and promoting environmental sustainability. The main metric used to measure the efficiency of AC units is the SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.

In the northern states, the minimum SEER rating will increase from 13 to 14, while in the South and Southwest regions, it will increase from 14 to 15. These higher SEER ratings indicate better energy efficiency, which translates to lower utility bills for homeowners. By upgrading to a new AC unit with a higher SEER rating, you can save money on your energy costs over time.

RegionCurrent Minimum SEER RatingNew Minimum SEER Rating (starting in 2023)
Northern States1314
South and Southwest1415

With these new SEER ratings in place, homeowners will have access to more efficient AC units that can cool their homes effectively while reducing their environmental impact. By choosing a higher SEER rated AC unit, you not only save money but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.

Future Changes in HVAC Refrigerants

future HVAC refrigerants

In 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will initiate a phase-out of the manufacture and importation of R-410a, a commonly used refrigerant in HVAC systems. This significant development is driven by the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment for future generations.

Manufacturers in the HVAC industry have already started working on the development of alternative refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP) to replace R-410a. These new refrigerants aim to provide improved energy efficiency and minimize their impact on climate change.

The phase-out of R-410a and the adoption of future HVAC refrigerants will lead to a new generation of HVAC systems that are more efficient, eco-friendly, and aligned with sustainability goals.

“The phase-out of R-410a is a crucial step towards building a greener future. By transitioning to alternative refrigerants, we can make significant progress in reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the environment for generations to come.” – HVAC industry expert

As manufacturers continue to innovate and develop new refrigerants, it is anticipated that these changes will result in significant advancements in HVAC technologies. These advancements will not only improve the overall energy efficiency of HVAC systems but also contribute to the global efforts in mitigating climate change.

Benefits of Future HVAC Refrigerants

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Enhanced system performance
  • Compliance with environmental regulations

The transition to future HVAC refrigerants marks an important milestone in the HVAC industry’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. By embracing these changes, homeowners and businesses can contribute to a greener future while enjoying the benefits of more efficient and eco-friendly HVAC systems.

Old Refrigerant (R-410a)New Refrigerant
Higher global warming potential (GWP)Lower GWP
Potential environmental impactReduced environmental impact
Less energy-efficientImproved energy efficiency

Pros and Cons of the New Refrigerants in AC Units

The new refrigerants used in AC units offer several advantages, making them more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. However, there are also some considerations and challenges associated with these new refrigerants.

Pros of the New Refrigerants

  • Environmentally friendly: The new refrigerants have significantly lower ozone depletion potential (ODP) and global warming potential (GWP) compared to older refrigerants like R-22 (Freon). This means they have a reduced impact on the environment and contribute to slowing down climate change.
  • Improved energy efficiency: AC units with new refrigerants operate more efficiently, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills. The increased efficiency also helps conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Long-term cost savings: The energy savings achieved with newer refrigerants can lead to significant cost savings over the lifespan of the AC unit. Homeowners can enjoy lower electricity bills while benefiting from a more efficient cooling system.

Cons of the New Refrigerants

  • Safety considerations: Some of the new refrigerants, such as R-32 and R-1234yf, have flammable properties. This requires additional safety precautions and specialized training for HVAC technicians who handle the installation, maintenance, or repair of AC units using these refrigerants.
  • Changes to building codes: The introduction of new refrigerants may require adjustments to building codes and regulations to ensure safe handling, storage, and disposal. This means that HVAC technicians and building owners need to stay updated on any changes and comply with the latest guidelines.
  • Complex recharging processes: The new refrigerants often have different properties compared to older refrigerants, requiring specific charging procedures and equipment. HVAC technicians need to be familiar with the proper techniques to ensure optimal performance and prevent damage to the AC unit.

While the new refrigerants bring numerous benefits, it’s essential to consider their unique characteristics and potential challenges. By working with qualified HVAC professionals, homeowners can navigate the transition to these new refrigerants smoothly and enjoy the advantages they offer.

RefrigerantOzone Depletion Potential (ODP)Global Warming Potential (GWP)Flammability
R-22 (Freon)High1,810Non-flammable
R-410a (Puron)Low2,088Non-flammable
R-32Negligible675Mildly flammable
R-1234yfNegligible4Mildly flammable

Planning for the Future of AC Units

If your current AC unit is older and less efficient, it may be a good idea to consider buying a new unit before the new SEER ratings and refrigerant changes take effect. By upgrading your AC unit now, you can take advantage of the energy savings and avoid potential price increases associated with the new standards.

Consulting with HVAC professionals is essential to understanding the best options for your specific needs. They can assess your current cooling requirements, evaluate the capacity of your existing system, and recommend suitable AC units that meet the future efficiency standards and utilize eco-friendly refrigerants. Investing in a new AC unit not only ensures a comfortable indoor environment but also contributes to sustainability efforts.

Be mindful that the transition to new SEER ratings and refrigerant regulations is a gradual process. However, being proactive and planning ahead will allow you to make informed decisions that align with the future of AC units. Prioritize energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, and long-term cost savings when buying new AC units. With the guidance of HVAC professionals, you can navigate the changing landscape and secure a reliable and efficient cooling system for years to come.


In summary, new AC units come with refrigerant, but the specific type of refrigerant can vary. It is crucial to have professionals handle refrigerant replacement and AC installation due to the specialized techniques and handling required for the new refrigerants. By planning ahead and staying informed, homeowners can make informed decisions about their HVAC systems.

The future of AC units is promising, with higher SEER ratings and increased efficiency. These advancements will result in significant energy savings and lower utility bills for homeowners. Additionally, the industry is shifting towards more eco-friendly refrigerants to reduce the environmental impact.

When considering the purchase of a new AC unit, it is advisable to do so before the new SEER ratings and refrigerant changes take effect. Acting now can help homeowners take advantage of energy savings and avoid potential price increases associated with the new standards. Consulting with HVAC professionals will ensure that the best options are chosen for individual needs.


Do new AC units come with refrigerant?

Yes, all new AC units come with refrigerant, but the type of refrigerant may vary.

How does refrigerant work in AC units?

Refrigerant in AC units works by exchanging heat to remove it from your home and supply cool air. It goes through a cycle of being a heated gas in the condenser coil, then cooling down and absorbing hot air in the evaporator coil.

Do I need to add refrigerant to my new AC unit?

If there is no refrigerant leak, you typically won’t need to recharge your new AC unit with refrigerant for several years. It is recommended to have a professional check for leaks and handle any necessary repairs or refills.

What types of refrigerant are used in new AC units?

New AC units can come with different types of refrigerants. Currently, R-22 (Freon) in older units is being phased out in favor of more eco-friendly options like R-410a (Puron), R-454b (Puron Advance), and R-466a (Solstice N41).

Can I replace or recharge the refrigerant in my AC unit myself?

It is not recommended for homeowners to replace or recharge refrigerant themselves due to safety concerns. DIY refrigerant replacement requires specialized handling techniques, and professionals should handle the process.

What are the new SEER ratings and efficiency standards for AC units?

Starting in 2023, new AC units will have higher minimum efficiency requirements measured by SEER ratings. In the northern states, the SEER rating will increase from 13 to 14, while in the South and Southwest regions, it will increase from 14 to 15.

What are the future changes in HVAC refrigerants?

In 2023, the EPA will begin phasing down the manufacture and importation of R-410a, leading to the development of new refrigerants with lower global warming potential. These changes aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.

What are the pros and cons of the new refrigerants in AC units?

The new refrigerants are more environmentally friendly and can make AC units more efficient, resulting in energy savings. However, some of the new refrigerants are mildly flammable, require extra safety precautions, and have more complicated recharging processes.

How should I plan for the future of AC units?

If your current AC unit is older and less efficient, it may be a good idea to replace it with a new unit before the new SEER ratings and refrigerant changes take effect. Consult with HVAC professionals to understand the best options for your specific needs.


New AC units do come with refrigerant, and the type of refrigerant can vary. It is important to leave refrigerant replacement and AC installation to professionals, as new refrigerants require specialized handling and techniques. The future of AC units includes higher SEER ratings, increased efficiency, and a shift towards more eco-friendly refrigerants. Planning ahead and staying informed can help homeowners make the best decisions for their HVAC systems.

Source Links