You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was added to your home, 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 Wausau, plus how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 715-301-0727. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will have information on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be harmful 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 creation and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It differs. If your air conditioning is cooling correctly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC 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 replace your air conditioner, it can cause a problem if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, because only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. As 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 possibility to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, 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 started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be passed on to you through your energy costs.
Gilray Heating and Cooling Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you very much until you require repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant repairs may be pricier since there are the restricted levels available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, often 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 aging, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a trouble-free summer and might even lower your cooling costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Gilray Heating and Cooling has many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 715-301-0727 to begin right away with a free estimate.