You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental regulation, as it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was put in, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Phoenix, as well as how these phaseouts have on influence on you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 602-971-0567. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will contain info on what model of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, banned its production 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 running as designed, you can continue to run it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling bills!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may cause an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, because only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it could also ultimately be ended. 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 brands have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy expenditure by approximately 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 electrical expenses.
Integrity AC & Heating LLC Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you need repairs. But as we reviewed earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant could be pricier due to the limited quantities available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re getting lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we advise upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and can even reduce your energy bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Integrity AC & Heating LLC provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 602-971-0567 to start now with a free estimate.