You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental regulation, as it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Kirkfield Heating, plus how these phaseouts have on influence on you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 204-272-8128. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will have information on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, barred its production and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It varies. If your air conditioning is running properly, you can continue to use it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that substituting 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 can create an issue if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, because only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it could also eventually be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated 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 is classified low for global warming potential—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be sent on to you through your utility bills.
Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you require repairs. But as we reviewed previously, repairs connected to refrigerant could be more expensive due to the restricted levels on hand.
In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently breaks down 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 relies on a phased out refrigerant or is aging, we advise upgrading to an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and can even lower your utility bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 204-272-8128 to begin today with a free estimate.