You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Erie, plus how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 814-308-0416. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will include info on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It differs. If your air conditioning is operating properly, you can continue to keep it. With routine 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 yearly cooling costs!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it may create a problem if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be higher-priced, since only small quantities 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 healthy. Since 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 potential to create global warming. As a result, it could also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—approximately 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 could be forwarded on to you through your energy costs.
Patterson & Stirling Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you very much until you have to have repairs. But as we went over earlier, refrigerant repairs may be more expensive because of the low amounts that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner typically stops working at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re getting many other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a trouble-free summer and may even reduce your utility costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Patterson & Stirling has many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 814-308-0416 to begin right away with a free estimate.