You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, 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 go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Tucson, in addition to 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 contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 520-357-4912. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will include info on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, banned its creation and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It differs. If your air conditioning is operating as designed, you can continue to keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to operate 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 bills!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can lead to difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, as only limited levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the discontinuation of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Since it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. As a consequence, it might also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be forwarded on to you through your utility bills.
Ambient Air Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we discussed earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant can be more expensive because of the restricted levels on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner usually 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 getting old, we advise upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and may even lower your cooling expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Ambient Air has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 520-357-4912 to get started right away with a free estimate.