You might not think much about how your air conditioner functions, but it requires refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Portland, plus 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 possibly has Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 503-213-4433. You can also examine the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will have details on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.
Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, has 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, banned its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It varies. If your air conditioning is operating properly, you can continue to keep it. With yearly air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to work around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on yearly cooling costs!
If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it might lead to a problem if you need air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, because only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the discontinuation of R-22, many new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. As it calls for a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the likelihood to create global warming. As a result, it could also eventually be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming possibility—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy consumption by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be forwarded on to you through your energy expenses.
Three Rivers Heating & Cooling Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In summary, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we discussed earlier, refrigerant repairs might be more costly due to the low amounts available.
In addition to that, your air conditioner typically stops working at the worst time, often on the muggiest day when we’re receiving lots of other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend getting an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a hassle-free summer and may even lower your utility expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Three Rivers Heating & Cooling has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 503-213-4433 to start today with a free estimate.