You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Mechanicsburg, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 717-220-4502. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your house. This sticker will contain details on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be harmful 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 creation 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 cooling fine, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it might create a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, because only small levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it requires an incompatible pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. Because of that, it may also sometime be ended. 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 manufacturers 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 reduces energy use 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 costs.
H & H Service Company Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant-related repairs might be pricier since there are the reduced levels available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently stops working at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re receiving a lot of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and can even decrease your electrical expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, H & H Service Company has many financing options to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 717-220-4502 to get started now with a free estimate.