You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is bound by environmental laws, because of the chemicals it contains.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Marshalltown, 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 installed before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 641-812-2028. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will include details on what type of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 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, banned its production and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It depends. If your air conditioning is operating fine, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC 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 annual cooling bills!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might cause difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, because only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. 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 likelihood to create global warming. As a consequence, it may also eventually be ended. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be forwarded on to you through your cooling bills.
Kapaun & Brown Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you require repairs. But as we talked about earlier, refrigerant repairs can be pricier due to the reduced quantities on hand.
In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently stops working at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we recommend getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a trouble-free summer and can even decrease your utility bills, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Kapaun & Brown provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 641-812-2028 to start today with a free estimate.