You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Sandpoint, 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 likely has Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 208-603-2210. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will have information on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its production 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 keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling expenses!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it might cause difficulties if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, because only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to create global warming. As a result, it may also eventually be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming possibility—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be forwarded on to you through your cooling costs.
Age Heating & Cooling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we went over earlier, refrigerant-related repairs can be more expensive due to the restricted levels available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re getting lots of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and may even reduce your utility expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Age Heating & Cooling provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 208-603-2210 to begin right away with a free estimate.