You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.
Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss 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 No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it probably has Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 703-260-1148. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will include info on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that contributes to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its production 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 operating fine, 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 reports that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it may cause difficulties if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be higher-priced, as only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. As it calls for an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to contribute to global warming. As a consequence, it could also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some manufacturers have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy consumption by around 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be forwarded on to you through your cooling costs.
Air-Right Energy Design Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you need repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant repairs can be more expensive since there are the low quantities available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner often malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re receiving lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest upgrading to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and might even decrease your electrical bills, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Air-Right Energy Design has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 703-260-1148 to get started today with a free estimate.