You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Norton, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it probably has Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 276-302-0076. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will have info on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, barred its production and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It varies. If your air conditioning is operating properly, you can continue to run it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may lead to a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, since only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. As a result, it might also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be passed on to you through your utility expenses.
HCE Systems Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you need repairs. But as we talked about earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant may be pricier since there are the low levels available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re receiving many other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and may even lower your utility costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, HCE Systems has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 276-302-0076 to begin now with a free estimate.