You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your house fresh. 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 use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Mount Pleasant, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it possibly contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 843-485-0967. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will have info on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
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 results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages 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 varies. If your air conditioning is cooling fine, you can continue to run it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling expenses!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it may lead to a problem if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, as only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it requires a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it might also ultimately 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 companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy use by approximately 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 cooling bills.
Olde Towne Heating & Air Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you need repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant-related repairs can be pricier because of the low levels available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re getting lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we advise getting a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and could even lower your cooling expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Olde Towne Heating & Air provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 843-485-0967 to begin today with a free estimate.