You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Des Moines, plus how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it probably has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 515-207-6569. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your home. This sticker will have details on what model of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It varies. If your air conditioning is running fine, you can continue to run 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 substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling bills!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might lead to a problem if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be higher-priced, because only small levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. As 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 contribute to global warming. As a result, it may also eventually 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 discontinuation, 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 lowers energy use by approximately 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 energy costs.
Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you require repairs. But as we talked about previously, refrigerant repairs may be pricier due to the restricted quantities that are accessible.
In addition to that, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re experiencing many other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and may even reduce your electrical expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling provides many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 515-207-6569 to start now with a free estimate.