You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, since it contains chemicals.
Subject to when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Cache Valley, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 435-753-5515. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will contain info on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, banned its creation and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It differs. If your air conditioning is running as designed, you can continue to run it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may lead to a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, because only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. As it needs a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to create global warming. Because of that, it could also sometime be ended. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be sent on to you through your energy bills.
Western Mechanical, Inc. Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we went over previously, repairs connected to refrigerant might be pricier since there are the low amounts available.
Not to mention, your air conditioner usually stops working at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re receiving a lot of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we advise getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and can even reduce your electrical bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Western Mechanical, Inc. has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 435-753-5515 to get started right away with a free estimate.