You might not think often about how your air conditioner operates, but it requires refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Athol, 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 installed before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 208-561-1226. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will include details on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, banned its production 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 operating as designed, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can cause an issue if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, since only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. Because it needs an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it may 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 the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, 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 reduces energy consumption by approximately 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 cooling expenses.
Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you very much until you have to have repairs. But as we went over beforehand, refrigerant repairs can be more expensive because of the low quantities available.
Not to mention, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re experiencing many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we advise installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and might even reduce your utility expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 208-561-1226 to begin right away with a free estimate.