You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is bound by environmental rules, since it contains chemicals.
Based on when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Suffolk/Nassau County, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.
What’s R-22 and Why is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 631-737-5566. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will include details on what type of refrigerant your AC has.
Freon, which is also known as R-22, has chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be damaging to the earth’s ozone layer and one that prompts global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, barred its manufacture and import in January 2020.
Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?
It varies. If your air conditioning is working properly, you can continue to keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC 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 yearly cooling costs!
If you keep your air conditioner, it could cause difficulties if you require air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs could be more expensive, since only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer healthy. Because it calls for a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the potential to create global warming. As a result, it could also ultimately be ended. Although it hasn’t been announced yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?
In preparation of the end, some companies have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming likelihood—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases 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 electrical bills.
Airmax Long Island Inc Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you greatly until you require repairs. But as we discussed beforehand, refrigerant repairs could be more costly since there are the reduced levels on hand.
Not to mention, your air conditioner typically breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the warmest day when we’re receiving many other calls for AC repair.
If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we advise installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a stress-free summer and may even reduce your energy costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Airmax Long Island Inc offers many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 631-737-5566 to get started today with a free estimate.