Air conditioner service

Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

You might not think often about how your air conditioner works, but it requires refrigerant to keep your home cool. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, as it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, 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 Carlsbad, as well as how these phaseouts have on influence on you.

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

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner contains it by reaching us at 575-446-3948. You can also check the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will contain details on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also referred to as 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 governs refrigerants in the United States, barred its creation 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 operating as designed, you can continue to use it. With annual 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 yearly cooling bills!

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may lead to an issue if you require air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, since only small amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the end of R-22, many new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer strong. As it requires a varying pressure level, it doesn’t match air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. As a result, it could also sometime be phased out. Although it hasn’t been mandated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s anticipated sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some companies have begun 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 lowers energy consumption by around 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 utility costs.

Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services Can Help with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we went over previously, refrigerant-related repairs can be pricier because of the reduced levels on hand.

Aside from that, your air conditioner typically malfunctions at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re receiving lots of other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is aging, we recommend installing an up-to-date, energy-efficient air conditioner. This ensures a hassle-free summer and can even lower your utility bills, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services provides many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 575-446-3948 to begin now with a free estimate.

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