You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.
Based 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 Paso Robles, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it possibly has Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 805-203-8667. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will include details on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, contains 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 governs 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 depends. If your air conditioning is running fine, you can continue to use it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling expenses!
If you keep your air conditioner, it could cause an issue if you require air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be higher-priced, as only limited levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. Because it needs a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it could also eventually be ended. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some companies have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming likelihood—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by approximately 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.
Paso Robles Heating and Air Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we reviewed beforehand, refrigerant repairs may be more costly since there are the low quantities that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently stops working at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re getting a lot of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we advise installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and may even lower your electrical bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Paso Robles Heating and Air provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 805-203-8667 to start today with a free estimate.