You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Ellsworth, 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 contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 715-318-6728. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will include details on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, banned its manufacture and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It varies. If your air conditioning is running correctly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that replacing 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 difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, since only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. As 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 possibility to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it could also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption 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 utility costs.
Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs can be pricier since there are the reduced quantities that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and might even reduce your cooling expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 715-318-6728 to start today with a free estimate.