You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it needs refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Based on when your air conditioner was put in, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Paxinos, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 570-648-0748. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your house. This sticker will contain info on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its creation and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It depends. If your air conditioning is running fine, you can continue to use it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it can lead to a problem if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, as only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. Because of that, it may also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be forwarded on to you through your energy costs.
LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about earlier, refrigerant repairs can be more costly due to the restricted amounts on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re receiving many other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a hassle-free summer and can even decrease your electrical bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 570-648-0748 to get started today with a free estimate.