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AC Refrigerant: What You Need to Know

If you haven’t been paying attention to the world of air conditioners, and if you’ve got a social life you probably haven’t, there have been some major changes to the science and understanding of AC refrigerant. Don’t worry, we’re not here to chastise you for not reading the latest Refrigerants Weekly magazine. We’re your neighborhood HVAC specialist here to give you the facts in case you’re looking at upgrading your air conditioning in Boerne, TX.

You’ve probably heard of the term Freon before. However, you probably haven’t heard about the R-22 phase-out which could impact your AC costs in the near future. Depending on the chemical composition of your air conditioner’s refrigerant, it could be extremely harmful to the environment and end up costing you an extraordinarily large amount of money in the near future. We can make this process as simple and easy to understand as possible, to make your next AC choice an informed one.

So pay close attention!

The Truth Behind Freon

Less commonly known as chlorodifluoromethane, freon is a colorless gas that is commonly used as a propellant and refrigerant. It’s a powerful greenhouse gas that has had a detrimental effect on the environment for years, as it contains chlorine which will eat away at the ozone layer when released into the atmosphere.

What does this have to do with you and your air conditioner? Well, when your AC has a refrigerant leak, that harmful freon will leak out into the atmosphere and eat away at the ozone layer. This is such a serious problem that the Environmental Protection Agency banned the production of R-22 freon in favor of a more environmentally friendly refrigerant, R-410A. So if you’ve got an older AC system that still runs on freon, you might want to brace yourself when your HVAC technician tells you there’s a refrigerant leak.

How to Prepare

Don’t freak out! If you’ve got an air conditioner that still uses freon, chances are its old enough to have a plethora of other problems as well. Newer, more efficient air conditioner models run on R-410A which is much more friendly to the environment and is just going to get cheaper.

So, prepare yourself. When your HVAC technician tells you that you’ve got a refrigerant leak, make absolutely sure what kind of refrigerant he’s going to recharge it with. If you get a recharge with freon, it could cost you a lot more money than the last time you had your refrigerant charged. That’s because, since the EPA stopped the production of freon, the only R-22 freon left to purchase is from leftover stockpiles. This means there is a finite supply that is going to skyrocket in price soon.

Stay Informed

Now that you know about refrigerant, stay vigilant when it comes to your air conditioner. Homeowners might think that a refrigerant recharge in their leaking AC system would be cheaper than an entire system upgrade- but depending on the refrigerant type, they might be mistaken!

Have more questions about refrigerant? Call D’Spain Sales and Service today!

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