You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it relies on refrigerant to keep your home fresh. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.

Based on 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 Port Orchard, as well as how these phaseouts affect you.

What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it possibly uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner uses it by reaching us at 360-205-7115. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will include details on what model of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also known as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon 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 running fine, you can continue to use it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your system to run 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 don’t get a new air conditioner, it may cause an issue if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, since only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer healthy. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to lead to global warming. Because of that, it may also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some brands have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming potential—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 forwarded on to you through your cooling bills.

Air Masters Heating & Cooling Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you have to have repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant-related repairs may be pricier since there are the low quantities on hand.

Aside from that, your air conditioner typically malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing many other appointments for AC repair.

If your air conditioner relies on a phased out refrigerant or is aging, we advise upgrading to an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and can even reduce your cooling costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Air Masters Heating & Cooling offers many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 360-205-7115 to start right away with a free estimate.