You might not think much about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Tucson, plus how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 520-200-1048. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your residence. This sticker will have information on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates 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 cooling fine, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system 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 summertime cooling expenses!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it may cause an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, because only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. As a result, it might also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—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 might be sent on to you through your cooling costs.
A&M Heating & Cooling LLC Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we went over earlier, refrigerant-related repairs might be pricier since there are the restricted quantities available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re receiving many other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and can even lower your electrical expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, A&M Heating & Cooling LLC has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 520-200-1048 to begin right away with a free estimate.