You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Columbia, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 601-736-7362. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your home. This sticker will have info on what type of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, barred its production and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It varies. If your air conditioning is operating fine, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling expenses!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it might cause a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, as only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
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 healthy. Since it calls for a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. As a result, it could also eventually be phased out. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some brands have initiated 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 consumption by around 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 electrical bills.
Watts Electric & A/C Inc Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you require repairs. But as we went over beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant could be more expensive due to the low levels available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner frequently breaks down at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re getting many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend getting a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and can even lower your electrical costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Watts Electric & A/C Inc offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 601-736-7362 to begin now with a free estimate.