You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it requires refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Rapid City, in addition to how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it possibly contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 605-206-3766. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will include 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 contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its production and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It varies. If your air conditioning is cooling properly, you can continue to use it. With regular 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 annual cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may create difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, as only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. Because of that, 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 discontinuation, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy use by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be forwarded on to you through your energy bills.
Precision Mechanical Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant-related repairs may be more costly due to the restricted quantities that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner frequently stops working at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing lots of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and might even lower your electrical costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Precision Mechanical has many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 605-206-3766 to start today with a free estimate.