You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was put in, 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 Cottonwood & Prescott, 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 probably has Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 928-251-4327. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will have information on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates 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 differs. If your air conditioning is cooling properly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling expenses!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it might lead to difficulties if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, since only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. Because of that, it could also ultimately be discontinued. 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 initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy use by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be passed on to you through your electrical costs.
Connolly Electric & Mechanical Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you have to have repairs. But as we reviewed beforehand, refrigerant repairs can be more costly since there are the restricted quantities that are accessible.
In addition to that, your air conditioner often malfunctions at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re receiving many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend installing an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and could even decrease your cooling bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Connolly Electric & Mechanical offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 928-251-4327 to get started now with a free estimate.