You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it needs refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, 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 Los Angeles, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can find out 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 found outside your house. This sticker will contain details on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, contains 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 governs refrigerants in the United States, banned its creation and import in January 2020.
I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?
It varies. If your air conditioning is cooling correctly, you can continue to run it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to last around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it can create difficulties if you have to have air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, since only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it requires a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. Because of that, it could also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy expenditure by approximately 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 cooling costs.
AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we went over beforehand, repairs connected to refrigerant may be more expensive due to the reduced quantities available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner often stops working at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re getting many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend getting a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and may even reduce your cooling bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, AZ Air Conditioning and Heating provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 800-296-5088 to begin now with a free estimate.