You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner operates, but it requires refrigerant to keep your house cold. This refrigerant is subject to environmental regulation, as it contains chemicals.

Depending on when your air conditioner was put in, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Wisconsin Rapids, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.

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

If your air conditioner was added before 2010, it likely uses Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 715-301-0256. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will have info on what model of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also known as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which governs refrigerants in the United States, banned its production and import in January 2020.

Should I Replace My R-22 Air Conditioner?

It varies. If your air conditioning is operating as designed, 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 summertime cooling costs!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can lead to a problem if you need air conditioning repair down the road, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be more expensive, because only reduced amounts of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the end of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer strong. Since it needs a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. Because of that, it might also sometime be phased out. 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 end, some manufacturers have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming likelihood—approximately one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy use by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be forwarded on to you through your cooling bills.

Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In summary, the modifications to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you have to have repairs. But as we discussed previously, refrigerant repairs can be pricier because of the reduced quantities that are accessible.

In addition to that, your air conditioner frequently malfunctions at the worst time, frequently on the hottest day when we’re receiving many other calls for AC repair.

If your air conditioner uses an outdated refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a stress-free summer and could even decrease your cooling expenses, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated system. Plus, Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 715-301-0256 to get started right away with a free estimate.