You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, 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 West Jefferson, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 614-450-1575. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will contain details on what model of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates refrigerants in the United States, banned 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 cooling as designed, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to run 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 keep your air conditioner, it might cause difficulties if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be higher-priced, since only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it needs a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. As a result, it could also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some brands have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy expenditure by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be sent on to you through your electrical costs.
West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you require repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant repairs may be more costly since there are the restricted quantities that are accessible.
In addition to that, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and might even lower your cooling costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 614-450-1575 to start right away with a free estimate.