You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental laws, because of the chemicals it contains.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Crystal and Twin Cities, 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 possibly uses Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 763-535-2000. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will include details on what model of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its creation and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It depends. If your air conditioning is operating correctly, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can create an issue if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be pricier, because only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer healthy. Since it calls for a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. As a result, it may also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take the Place of R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming potential—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be sent on to you through your utility costs.
GV Heating & Air Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about previously, repairs connected to refrigerant might be more costly due to the low levels that are accessible.
Not to mention, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and could even reduce your electrical expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, GV Heating & Air offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 763-535-2000 to get started today with a free estimate.