You may have heard that refrigerant standards have changed. But have you wondered if and how much those changes affect what you do on a daily basis?
Here’s a breakdown of what’s happened with refrigerant standards – and don’t worry, you won’t have to go out immediately and buy a new central A/C system for your home.
Unless you purchased a new system in 2010 or later, your air-conditioning system uses R-22 – a refrigerant that has long been known to contribute to ozone deterioration. The search for an alternative led to an international collaboration, known as the Montreal Protocol, and resulted in the development of a new, environmentally friendly refrigerant called R-410A. This refrigerant is effective to use for the cooling process in both A/Cs and heat pumps, but it doesn’t create or release ozone-depleting chemicals.
Homeowners needn’t be concerned, however, if they currently have older systems that use R-22. The refrigerant will continue to be manufactured until 2020 so that homeowners can have their systems recharged. In fact, if you have an A/C that uses the older refrigerant, you’re in good company, as the majority of Americans also currently use it.
If you have an older system but you’re tempted to switch over to R-410A to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions — don’t. Newly designed A/Cs and R-410A are not compatible. Using the new refrigerant in an old system could lead to serious problems or damage.
When the time comes to upgrade your systems, you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of the new refrigerant standards and know that you’re contributing to a greener environment. In the meantime, just do what you’ve been doing – get regular maintenance for your system to ensure its efficiency, but more importantly, to avoid hazardous refrigerant leaks.
Advancements in refrigerant standards will benefit everyone. If you’d like help understanding how the changes affect the equipment in your Southwest Florida home, or if you’d like to upgrade to new equipment to reap the benefits of the new refrigerant, give the professionals at Conditioned Air a call. We are always happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioning and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.