You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Front Royal, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner has it by reaching us at 540-636-3396. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will contain details on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It varies. If your air conditioning is running as designed, you can continue to use it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may cause an issue if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be higher-priced, as only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it could also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming likelihood—approximately 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 might be sent on to you through your utility costs.
Dave's Diversified Services Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you require repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant repairs can be more costly since there are the restricted quantities on hand.
In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently stops working at the worst time, frequently on the warmest day when we’re receiving a lot of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and could even lower your utility bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Dave's Diversified Services has many financing options to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 540-636-3396 to start right away with a free estimate.