You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Des Moines, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 515-207-6569. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your home. This sticker will contain details on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also called 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 oversees refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It varies. If your air conditioning is operating as designed, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it could create difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, as only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it needs an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it may also sometime be ended. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy consumption by about 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 energy costs.
Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we talked about earlier, refrigerant repairs can be more costly due to the reduced amounts on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing many other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we suggest upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a stress-free summer and might even reduce your energy expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 515-207-6569 to start today with a free estimate.