You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, 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 Opelika, plus how these phaseouts have on influence on you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 334-524-2458. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will have information on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees refrigerants in the United States, banned its production and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It depends. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to run it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning 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 yearly cooling bills!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it could lead to a problem if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, since only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it calls for 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 result, it might also eventually 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 discontinuation, some companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy use by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be passed on to you through your cooling expenses.
Farnell Mechanical, Inc. Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you require repairs. But as we reviewed earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant can be more expensive because of the low levels on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re receiving lots of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we advise installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and may even reduce your electrical bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Farnell Mechanical, Inc. has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 334-524-2458 to get started now with a free estimate.