You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it needs refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, 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 The Bay Area, as well as 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 possibly contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by reaching us at 510-343-9841. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your house. This sticker will contain details on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It varies. If your air conditioning is running fine, you can continue to run it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling bills!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it might cause a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, as only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it calls for a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. Because of that, it may also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some companies have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be sent on to you through your utility bills.
Contra Costa Heating & AC Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant-related repairs might be pricier due to the restricted levels that are accessible.
Aside from that, your air conditioner frequently breaks down at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re receiving lots of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a phased out refrigerant or is getting old, we advise upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and can even lower your electrical expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Contra Costa Heating & AC offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 510-343-9841 to start now with a free estimate.