You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Erie, plus 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 possibly contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 814-308-0416. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will include details on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also called R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its production 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 running as designed, you can continue to use it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate 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 expenses!
If you keep your air conditioner, it can cause difficulties if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, because only small levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. As a result, it may also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy expenditure by around 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.
Patterson & Stirling Inc Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we reviewed previously, refrigerant repairs may be more costly because of the low quantities on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re receiving many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we recommend installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and might even reduce your electrical costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Patterson & Stirling Inc offers many financing options to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 814-308-0416 to start right away with a free estimate.