You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, 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 Lexington, plus 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 discover if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 336-853-6070. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will contain information on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, banned its production 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 yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling bills!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can lead to an issue if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, since only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it needs a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. As a result, it may also eventually be ended. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming likelihood—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy consumption by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be sent on to you through your cooling bills.
James Heating & A/C, Inc Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you very much until you require repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant repairs might be pricier due to the reduced quantities on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner usually stops working at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re getting many other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a hassle-free summer and may even lower your cooling bills, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, James Heating & A/C, Inc has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 336-853-6070 to start today with a free estimate.