You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
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 West Columbia, 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 installed before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 803-265-4208. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will contain information on what type of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also called R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to 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 varies. If your air conditioning is cooling as designed, you can continue to use it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling expenses!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may cause difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be more expensive, as only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to create global warming. Because of that, it could also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy use by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be forwarded on to you through your utility bills.
Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you need repairs. But as we reviewed previously, refrigerant-related repairs may be pricier since there are the low quantities that are accessible.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often malfunctions at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re getting many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and may even decrease your energy expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 803-265-4208 to begin today with a free estimate.