You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Frederick, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 301-690-0397. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will contain info on what model of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls 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 properly, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may create a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be higher-priced, because only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it calls for an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. As a result, it may also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by about 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 cooling bills.
May's Heating & Air Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant might be more costly due to the restricted quantities on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re receiving lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we suggest upgrading to an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and can even reduce your cooling costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, May's Heating & Air provides many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 301-690-0397 to start now with a free estimate.