Because nearly 90% of American homes utilize some form of air conditioning, the use of a responsible refrigerant is important to our environment and our global health. Refrigerant is the lifeblood of an air conditioner; it’s a chemical that circulates between the two AC coils, extracting indoor heat and dispersing it outdoors. The result? Cool, comfortable indoor living even on hot summer days. For decades, however, the standard residential air conditioning refrigerant was R-22, a hydrofluorocarbon (HCFC).
Why Isn’t R-22 a Responsible Refrigerant?
Research beginning in the 1960s ultimately determined that R-22 degrades the critical protective ozone layer in our upper atmosphere. Due to this threat, a more environmentally friendly replacement — R-410A — was developed and is now utilized in all new air conditioners. This safer formulation provides many benefits over R-22. These include:
- Unlike R-22, R-410A does not contain chlorine, the principal chemical that destroys the ozone layer. Therefore, it is more compatible with the environment.
- R-410A is more effective at absorbing and releasing heat, making your air conditioner’s cooling function more energy efficient, which is another environmental benefit. This can also lower cooling costs.
- The compressor in an R-410A unit runs cooler, reducing wear and tear and supporting longer service life. Because the compressor is typically the most expensive component in an AC system, this is an important benefit.
- R-410A refrigerant is now universally available and affordable. Stocks of new R-22, conversely, are not available on the market anymore, and at this point, only limited recycled quantities exist at a very high cost.
When to Make the Change to Responsible Refrigerant
While an aging, malfunctioning R-22 air conditioner that needs repairs may be fixed in certain cases, continued use is not only a potential environmental threat, it will be very expensive. Increasingly, the prohibitive cost of many repairs to these outmoded units makes upgrading to a new R-410A air conditioner the preferred choice for your budget and for the environment.
For more advice about upgrading to the responsible refrigerant, R-410A, talk to the cooling experts at Jackson & Sons.Know When to Schedule Spring Maintenance for Your HVAC Unit » « Do You Know the Best Thermostat Placement for Your Home?