You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was put in, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review 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 Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 419-548-5017. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will have details on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its creation and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It depends. If your air conditioning is operating correctly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that substituting 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 create difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, as only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it needs a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it could also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming likelihood—approximately 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 forwarded on to you through your cooling costs.
Northwest Services Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant repairs can be more costly due to the low amounts on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently stops working at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re experiencing lots of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we recommend upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and might even reduce your electrical expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Northwest Services offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 419-548-5017 to begin today with a free estimate.