You might not think often about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Alice, in addition to 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 uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 361-265-4371. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will contain information on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, banned its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It varies. If your air conditioning is cooling as designed, you can continue to keep it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC 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 yearly cooling bills!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may lead to an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, because only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it needs a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. As a result, it could also eventually be phased out. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some companies have started 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 reduces energy consumption by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be forwarded on to you through your cooling bills.
Rescue Heating & Air Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you very much until you require repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant-related repairs may be pricier due to the restricted levels on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and could even reduce your cooling expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Rescue Heating & Air has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 361-265-4371 to get started today with a free estimate.