You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Based 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 Excelsior Springs, 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 likely has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 816-379-3918. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will contain info on what model of refrigerant your AC has.
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 manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its production and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It depends. If your air conditioning is operating as designed, you can continue to use it. With routine 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 install a new air conditioner, it might cause an issue if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be higher-priced, because only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. As it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. As a result, it could also ultimately 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 discontinuation, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming likelihood—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy expenditure by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be passed on to you through your cooling costs.
Colvin's Heating and Cooling Can Assist 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 beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant might be pricier because of the restricted amounts that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re getting lots of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we suggest installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and may even reduce your cooling bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Colvin's Heating and Cooling provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 816-379-3918 to start today with a free estimate.