You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Cedar Rapids, plus how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 319-208-2351. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your home. This sticker will contain info on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also called R-22, includes 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, barred its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
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 run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may create difficulties if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be higher-priced, as only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it calls for an incompatible pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. As a result, it could also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have begun 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 lowers energy use 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 energy costs.
Ilten's Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant-related repairs may be more costly since there are the low amounts available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner frequently stops working at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re getting lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we advise installing an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and can even reduce your utility costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Ilten's offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 319-208-2351 to start today with a free estimate.