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How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your house cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, because of the chemicals it contains.

Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Carpentersville, as well as how these phaseouts have on influence on you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It Phased Out?

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 224-412-8308. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your residence. This sticker will include information on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts 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 depends. If your air conditioning is working fine, you can continue to use it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling expenses!

If you keep your air conditioner, it could create a problem if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, since only small 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. As it calls for a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to create global warming. As a consequence, it may 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 Take the Place of R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be passed on to you through your cooling expenses.

Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you need repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant repairs might be more expensive due to the limited quantities that are accessible.

Not to mention, your air conditioner usually breaks down at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we recommend installing a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and might even reduce your utility expenses, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 224-412-8308 to get started right away with a free estimate.