You might not think much about how your air conditioner operates, but it needs refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is bound by environmental laws, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, 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 Manassas, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by contacting us at 703-595-4157. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will include information on what model of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages 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 cooling fine, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it might create difficulties if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, as only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it could also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption by around 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 bills.
Fire & Ice HVAC Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we talked about previously, repairs connected to refrigerant can be more expensive because of the low quantities that are accessible.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend getting a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and can even decrease your utility costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Fire & Ice HVAC has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 703-595-4157 to begin right away with a free estimate.