You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner operates, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may need 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 have on influence on you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 515-344-3579. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your home. This sticker will contain 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 bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It depends. If your air conditioning is cooling properly, you can continue to run it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run 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 expenses!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can cause an issue if you require air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, since only limited amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Since it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. As a consequence, it may also sometime be discontinued. 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 end, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy use 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 utility expenses.
Heartland Heating & Cooling Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you need repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant repairs might be more costly due to the reduced quantities available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, typically on the warmest day when we’re experiencing many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and may even decrease your utility bills, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Heartland Heating & Cooling provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 515-344-3579 to start right away with a free estimate.