You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, 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 Cambridge, plus how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 410-228-4822. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will contain info on what type of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees refrigerants in the United States, barred its manufacture and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It varies. If your air conditioning is operating fine, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling bills!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may cause a problem if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, as only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it may also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by approximately 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 cooling expenses.
Pliescott HVAC Services LLC Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant repairs may be more costly due to the reduced amounts available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner usually malfunctions at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re getting many other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we advise upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and could even reduce your electrical expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Pliescott HVAC Services LLC has many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 410-228-4822 to get started today with a free estimate.