You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, 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 go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Winnipeg, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 204-272-8128. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will contain information on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its creation and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It differs. If your air conditioning is operating as designed, you can continue to keep it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!
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 could be higher-priced, as only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. Because of that, it might also eventually be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy consumption 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 energy costs.
Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you require repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs can be more costly since there are the low levels on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re receiving a lot of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a phased out refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and can even lower your electrical expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning provides many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 204-272-8128 to begin now with a free estimate.