You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, since it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was put in, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Swanton, plus how these phaseouts impact you.

What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 419-548-5017. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will contain info 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 leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture 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 yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to work 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 bills!

If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it can cause an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be more expensive, since only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it requires an incompatible pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it might also eventually be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers 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 consumption by about 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 energy bills.

Northwest Services Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you require repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant repairs might be more costly because of the low amounts on hand.

Aside from that, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, often on the warmest day when we’re getting lots of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend installing an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and might even reduce your cooling bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Northwest Services has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 419-548-5017 to start today with a free estimate.