You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Los Angeles, in addition to 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 contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 800-296-5088. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is situated outside your home. This sticker will include info on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates refrigerants in the United States, banned its manufacture and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It varies. If your air conditioning is running properly, you can continue to keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to last 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 may cause an issue if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, because only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. Because it needs an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it might also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace 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 likelihood—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by about 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 electrical costs.
AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you very much until you need repairs. But as we went over beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs could be more expensive since there are the low quantities on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the warmest day when we’re getting a lot of other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we recommend getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and may even lower your utility bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, AZ Air Conditioning and Heating offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 800-296-5088 to start right away with a free estimate.