You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Pocatello, plus how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 208-621-0129. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will have details on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls 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 operating fine, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling bills!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may cause a problem if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, since only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. As a consequence, it may also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace 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 likelihood—approximately 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 passed on to you through your electrical bills.
Vogts Heating & Air Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you need repairs. But as we discussed previously, repairs connected to refrigerant might be more expensive since there are the low levels that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner usually malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re receiving lots of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we advise upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and might even reduce your cooling costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Vogts Heating & Air offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 208-621-0129 to begin now with a free estimate.