You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, 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 Florissant and St. Charles, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 314-325-7552. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will contain info on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also called R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, banned 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 cooling as designed, you can continue to keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling expenses!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might create difficulties if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be more expensive, because only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it calls for an incompatible 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 result, it could also sometime 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 companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—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 may be sent on to you through your utility costs.
B & B Heating & Cooling Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you require repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant repairs might be more expensive because of the reduced amounts on hand.
In addition to that, your air conditioner typically malfunctions 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 phased out refrigerant or is getting old, we advise upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and could even lower your utility bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, B & B Heating & Cooling provides many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 314-325-7552 to get started now with a free estimate.