Air conditioner service

How Does Air Conditioning Refrigerant Phaseout Affect Me?

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it needs refrigerant to keep your home cold. This refrigerant is bound by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.

Depending on when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Williamsport, plus how these phaseouts have on influence on you.

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

If your air conditioner was put in before 2010, it probably contains Freon®. You can learn if your air conditioner contains it by contacting us at 570-244-2510. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will contain information on what kind of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees refrigerants in the United States, outlawed its manufacture 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 annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy says that substituting a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling bills!

If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it can cause an issue if you need air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be higher-priced, as only limited quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the phaseout of R-22, most new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also referred to as R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer healthy. As it requires a different pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that use R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the likelihood to lead to global warming. As a consequence, it may also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s expected sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the discontinuation, some companies have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant ranks low for global warming potential—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also lowers energy expenditure by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that could be passed on to you through your energy bills.

Lycoming Heating Company Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t affect you a whole lot until you require repairs. But as we reviewed earlier, repairs connected to refrigerant can be pricier due to the restricted amounts available.

In addition to that, your air conditioner often breaks down at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re receiving a lot of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we recommend upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a hassle-free summer and might even lower your cooling bills, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Lycoming Heating Company has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner work with your budget. Contact us at 570-244-2510 to start right away with a free estimate.

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