You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was added to your home, 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 Sandpoint, plus how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has 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 residence. This sticker will have information on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its production and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It varies. If your air conditioning is cooling fine, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it can cause a problem if you require air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, because only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it calls for an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it might also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some brands have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by about 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 expenses.
Age Heating & Cooling Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant may be more costly because of the reduced levels on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner usually stops working at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re receiving lots of other requests 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 trouble-free summer and can even decrease your cooling costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Age Heating & Cooling provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 208-603-2210 to begin right away with a free estimate.