You might not think often about how your air conditioner functions, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.
Subject to when your air conditioner was put in, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Sacramento, in addition to how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Phased Out?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner uses it by calling us at 916-591-6889. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will include information on what type of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It differs. If your air conditioning is cooling properly, you can continue to keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may cause an issue if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be more expensive, as only limited levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.
With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it calls for an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. Because of that, it might also sometime be ended. 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 begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy use 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 energy bills.
Bishop’s HVAC Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant repairs may be more expensive because of the restricted levels on hand.
Aside from that, your air conditioner typically stops working at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re getting lots of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is aging, we advise installing an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and might even reduce your utility costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Bishop’s HVAC provides many financing options to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 916-591-6889 to begin now with a free estimate.