You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner operates, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Chadron, plus how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 308-832-4321. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will contain details on what model of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for 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 manufacture and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It differs. If your air conditioning is operating as designed, you can continue to run it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might create a problem if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, as only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it needs 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 contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it might also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be sent on to you through your utility costs.
MPC Heating & Cooling Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you require repairs. But as we talked about earlier, refrigerant repairs may be pricier due to the restricted quantities available.
Not to mention, your air conditioner usually malfunctions at the worst time, frequently on the warmest day when we’re getting lots of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and might even lower your utility costs, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, MPC Heating & Cooling provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 308-832-4321 to get started now with a free estimate.