You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, 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 Erie, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 814-308-0416. You can also examine 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 uses.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, banned its production 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 running properly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling expenses!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it may lead to difficulties if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be higher-priced, as only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it needs a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it might also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been disclosed 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 potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be sent on to you through your cooling bills.
Patterson & Stirling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you require repairs. But as we went over earlier, refrigerant repairs can be more costly because of the restricted levels on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re receiving many other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and may even lower your cooling expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Patterson & Stirling offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 814-308-0416 to get started now with a free estimate.