You might not think often about how your air conditioner operates, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is subject to environmental rules, as it contains chemicals.
Depending on when your air conditioner was added to your home, 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 Lincoln, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 402-438-7992. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your home. This sticker will have info on what kind of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also called R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, banned its creation and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It varies. If your air conditioning is running properly, you can continue to use it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that replacing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling costs!
If you don’t get a new air conditioner, it might lead to a problem if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs can be pricier, since only reduced levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it could also ultimately be ended. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some brands have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant rates low for global warming possibility—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces 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 expenses.
AW Heating & Air Conditioning Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you require repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs might be more costly because of the low quantities that are accessible.
In addition to that, your air conditioner typically stops working at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re receiving many other appointments for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is aging, we advise installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and may even lower your cooling expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, AW Heating & Air Conditioning has many financing options to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 402-438-7992 to start right away with a free estimate.