You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, 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, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by contacting us at 800-296-5088. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will contain info on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, banned its production 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 operating fine, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can create a problem if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be more expensive, because only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. Because of that, it might also ultimately be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some brands have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming likelihood—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be passed on to you through your utility expenses.
AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant repairs can be more costly because of the low amounts on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re getting lots of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we advise installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and may even decrease your utility bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, AZ Air Conditioning and Heating offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 800-296-5088 to get started right away with a free estimate.