You might not think often about how your air conditioner operates, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, 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 Pella, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 641-628-3621. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your house. This sticker will include info on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, barred 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 running properly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling expenses!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may create an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, since only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. Because it requires a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it might also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected 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 is classified low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by about 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 utility expenses.
Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant repairs can be more costly due to the reduced levels that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re receiving lots of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner relies on an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and could even decrease your utility bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating offers many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 641-628-3621 to begin right away with a free estimate.