You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is bound by environmental laws, since it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was put in, 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 Laurel, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it probably has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 301-960-3247. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will include information on what type of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also called R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture 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 run it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it could lead to an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be higher-priced, since only limited levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the phaseout 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 in good shape. Because it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. Because of that, it may also eventually be ended. 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 end, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming likelihood—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be passed on to you through your utility bills.
H&C Heating and Cooling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we went over earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant may be pricier because of the limited levels on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner typically stops working at the worst time, often on the warmest day when we’re getting lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and might even lower your energy costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, H&C Heating and Cooling has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 301-960-3247 to get started today with a free estimate.