You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental laws, 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 review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Lake Worth, 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 installed before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 561-533-6066. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will have info on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, barred its manufacture and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It depends. If your air conditioning is cooling as designed, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it can create an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, as only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it needs an incompatible pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. Because of that, it may also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy use by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be sent on to you through your utility bills.
Smyth Air Conditioning Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you need repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant-related repairs can be pricier since there are the reduced quantities available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner typically malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise getting a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and could even decrease your electrical bills, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Smyth Air Conditioning provides many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 561-533-6066 to begin right away with a free estimate.