You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
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 Brandon, 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 probably has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 204-728-0180. You can also check 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 needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, barred its production and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It depends. If your air conditioning is working as designed, you can continue to use it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!
If you keep your air conditioner, it may lead to difficulties if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, because only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it requires a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it might also eventually be ended. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some brands 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 decreases energy use by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be forwarded on to you through your electrical costs.
Brandon Heating and Plumbing Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs could be more costly because of the restricted levels that are accessible.
In addition to that, your air conditioner usually stops working at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re getting many other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we advise upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and can even decrease your cooling bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Brandon Heating and Plumbing provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 204-728-0180 to get started today with a free estimate.